Biden's Executive Order on Voting Draws Criticism for Partisanship

 May 3, 2024

The Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project has raised prominent critiques, pointing to the executive order's potential partisan undertones.

Breitbart News reported that Biden's order places significant emphasis on registering convicted individuals to vote, as uncovered by an investigation conducted by Heritage's Oversight Project.

In March 2021, President Biden signed an executive order intended to enhance opportunities for all citizens to register to vote and participate in elections, branding it a bipartisan endeavor. Yet, recent findings from the Oversight Project suggest that the approach might favor specific demographic groups.

The Biden administration held a listening session involving non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in May 2021. According to the Oversight Project, this session was limited to groups aligned with Democratic or left-leaning ideologies. This exclusivity has fueled allegations that the executive order serves as a tool for partisan voter mobilization through federal means.

The listening session's focus, as uncovered in unredacted notes accessed by the Oversight Project, heavily emphasized registering convicts to vote. Suggestions included communicating the right to vote to newly eligible voters among incarcerated individuals and incorporating a voter registration system within the Bureau of Prisons.

Inclusive Voting: Opportunities and Challenges

Moreover, the session discussed enhancing voter registration for immigrants and improving linguistic access to voter registration information.

An official from MALDEF highlighted the need for meticulous registration strategies for immigrants to ensure compliance with the law:

Felony disenfranchisement is voter suppression, an official with the Sentencing Project remarked, emphasizing the critical nature of re-integrating former convicts into the democratic process through voting rights restoration.

An official from Asian Americans Advancing Justice proposed making voter registration information a standard component at naturalization ceremonies. They also suggested that the government’s official voter registration website should include translations in multiple languages to accommodate the U.S.'s diverse linguistic backdrop.

Critics from the Oversight Project argue that these initiatives are skewed towards demographics that traditionally lean Democrat, thus potentially influencing future elections. This critique points to a broader concern about the impartiality of federal resources in electoral processes.

Debate Over Federal Involvement in Voter Mobilization

Transparency in these processes is crucial to maintaining public trust in the electoral system. The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project expresses apprehension that the executive order could be perceived as a strategic maneuver rather than a genuine effort to enhance democratic participation.

This sentiment is encapsulated in a memo by Oversight Project executives, describing the order as a “partisan voter mobilization effort aiming to influence the outcome of future elections through the use of federal resources, infrastructure, and reach.”

In conclusion, while President Biden’s executive order on promoting access to voting declared an inclusive approach to election participation, the implementation and associations observed by the Oversight Project suggest a possibility of partisan advantages.

This raises important questions about the balance between enhancing voter access and maintaining nonpartisan use of federal resources in electoral processes. Transparency, inclusivity, and impartiality are essential to uphold the integrity of this initiative.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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