Fifteen Secretaries of State from across the country have jointly signed a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to rescind Executive Order No. 14019, which calls for federal agencies to act beyond their Congressionally specified functions.
The Executive Order directs federal agencies to develop their own plans to register voters in those states that use an agency’s services or programs. The Executive Order further directs those agencies to share these plans with the President without first consulting the states.
The letter cites a lack of Constitutional authority of an Executive Order to direct federal agencies to operate voter registration services beyond their Congressionally specified functions.
The letter also says that Biden’s Executive Order duplicates voter registration efforts already conducted at the state level, and ignores codified procedures and programs for voter registration outlined in state laws and constitutions.
As the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution clearly indicates that state legislatures, not the President, shall prescribe the way and manner a state manages its election process. Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the National Voter Registration Act include any such grant of executive authority to the President to require federal agency involvement with state-level voter registration processes.
Any actions to reconfigure states’ voter registration duties and responsibilities must be done by Congress or the states themselves, not through the Executive. The signatories to the letter contend that the Executive Order erodes the responsibility and duties of their state legislatures.