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California To Offer Voter Registration Through Health Insurance Marketplace

Citizens vote in Los Angeles County on Nov. 6, 2012.
Frederic J. Brown
Citizens vote in Los Angeles County on Nov. 6, 2012.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California will become the first state to offer voter registration through its health insurance marketplace later this year.

Millions of Californians will get the chance to register at the same time they are buying insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment begins in October.

The Secretary of State formally designated Covered California as a voter registration agency this week.


A 1993 federal law requires states to designate agencies and offices that provide public assistance or disability services as voter registration agencies. A bill by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles that was signed into law last year allowed the exchange to have such authority.

Padilla says increasing voter registration will be good for the state because nearly 5.8 million Californians who are eligible are not registered.