Our emergency departments offer patients, visitors, and staff the opportunity to register to vote on-site in our ED waiting rooms through a nonpartisan, noninterruptive ED-based voter registration initiative called VotER.
The VotER program plays an important role in addressing the social determinants of health by meeting potential voters where they are and by supporting the 51 million citizens who aren’t registered to become more civically engaged.
We are proud to be among the first emergency departments in the nation to offer such a service and help lead a growing number of EDs across the country who are joining this critical public health initiative. COVID-19 has taught us that it’s never been more urgent to connect the dots between civic engagement and healthcare because not doing so misses the opportunity to use this moment to create a better healthcare system post-COVID19 that will stand strong in the face of the next crisis.
Unlike previous hospital-based voter registration programs, VotER is fully online via iPad kiosks and QR code enabled "healthy democracy kits", and it does not require direct staff involvement in voter registration. The program is entirely voluntary and nonpartisan, and interested patients can be directed to the kiosk if they have questions. Providers and staff are educated on VotER talking points and Wisconsin's voter registration requirements so they can feel empowered to answer patients' questions.
The University of Wisconsin, UW Health, and VotER do not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office. Any and all views expressed by individuals or partner institutions of VotER are their own and do not constitute the views or position of the University, UW Health, or VotER.