Wyoming Secretary of State Asks President Biden to Rescind Executive Order Inserting Federal Agencies into State Voter Registration
Written by Caleb Nelson on August 8, 2022
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has joined fourteen other Secretaries of State from across the country in jointly signing a letter asking President Joe Biden to rescind Executive Order No. 14019, which calls for federal agencies to act beyond their Congressionally specified functions—Buchanan and others argue.
The Executive Order directs federal agencies to develop their own plans to register voters in 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.
On March 7, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14019, which is titled “Promoting Access to Voting.” Biden’s Executive Order claims to address “significant obstacles” confronting Americans when it comes to voter registration. The President cites a lack of election information and barriers to access at polling places and “misinformation.”
The letter opposing this Presidential action cites a lack of Constitutional authority for 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.
A recent press release from Mr. Buchanan’s office states, “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 processes. 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 branch. The signatories to the letter contend that the Executive Order erodes the responsibility and duties of their state legislatures,” the press release explains.
A signed copy of the letter can be found here.