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IHS barred non-partisan voter registration drive

The Indian Health Service barred employees from organizing a non-partisan voter registration drive in New Mexico, The Washington Post reports.

Employees wanted to register colleagues, patients and family members. But they were told by Ronald C. Wood of the Navajo area office that they couldn't so. In an e-mail, he said central office decided not to allot any voter drives, particularly in this "very sensitive political season."

The military allows servicemembers to get out the vote, so some outsiders and Democrats questioned the ban. An IHS official would not say what legal basis was behind the policy but that employees were expected to follow the Hatch Act, which restricts campaign activity by government workers.

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Indian Health Agency Barred New-Voter Drive (The Washington Post 10/6)