President Joe Biden’s plan for a federal takeover of U.S. elections has stalled because a couple of relatively moderate Democrats refuse to be a party to his power grab.
But Biden’s quest is not dead yet. And a North Carolina congressman is sending up a flare for the right to pay attention.
Last March, Biden issued an executive order saying the federal government “shall” find ways to “expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process.”
One might think voters who live in a highly politicized climate with a nonstop 24-news cycle and the internet might not need Washington’s help in finding out how to register to vote or “participate” in our divisive political system.
Nonetheless, according to the conservative website The Daily Signal, Biden wants every federal agency to develop plans to do that to Susan Rice, one of President Barack Obama’s top advisers and now director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.
And key to Biden’s plan is to enlist third-party groups – think the left-wing organization ACORN back in Obama’s day – to help guide voters through this process.
In January, North Carolina Republican Rep. Ted Budd sounded the alarm about this plan. He enlisted nearly three dozen other GOP lawmakers to endorse a letter to the Office of Management and Budget to object and seek answers.
“It makes no sense for agencies that do not enforce federal voting laws to engage in election-related activities,” the letter said. “Commanding every federal agency to develop a plan to engage in this kind of election activity is a blatant overreach of power and authority.”
As for those ambiguously identified third-party groups, Budd’s letter noted that the criteria for selecting and approving them, and by whom, was “conveniently missing” from Biden’s order. “We are concerned that agencies will not be prevented from selecting nominally-nonpartisan organizations to carry out these services,” the lawmakers wrote.
Lastly, the GOP members noted how the order resembled a “federal election takeover plan crafted by the radical left-leaning group known as Demos,” which released its scheme on its website in December 2020.
“What is more,” the letter continued, “the Demos plan also called for the weaponization of the DOJ [Department of Justice] to be used as a tool to attack opponents who stand in the way of attempts to federalize elections,” such as is happening in the Biden DOJ’s “meritless lawsuit attacking Georgia’s election integrity law.”
Through his executive order. Biden’s plan appears to be to “use federal government resources, funded by American taxpayers, to circumvent newly-passed state election integrity laws” – which “make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”
“The Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to federalize state-run elections will erode these important protections,” the letter concluded.
The lawmakers’ also requested that the OMB provide information about how the order was crafted and its purpose.
Budd has maintained the pressure since the letter.
This month he wrote an op-ed in The Hill explaining why GOP lawmakers are concerned and demanding answers.
More than 400 federal agencies now “must direct voters to state and federal registration websites, distribute registration and vote-by-mail applications, assist people in completing them, and allow third-party organizations to register voters on agency premises,” Budd and Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, wrote in the op-ed.
“This is unprecedented. Federal officials serving a Democratic administration have effectively been dragooned into getting out the vote. Their actions have the potential to affect the voting habits of tens of millions of people, if not more. Few things are more inappropriate for the federal government.”
Budd and Bragdon pointed out that the plans had to be submitted by last September, but so far the Biden administration refuses to release any information about them.
That, they said, “raises obvious concerns about political interference in elections using the federal government’s significant manpower and resources. Nothing like this has ever been attempted, for good reason. It smacks of manipulation and partisan meddling.”
“The potential for abuse is rampant,” they added.
“The death of Democrats’ legislation in Congress is far from the end of the fight to prevent fraud and preserve election integrity. The Biden administration’s attempt to transform the federal bureaucracy into an electoral tool is equally concerning, if not more so. The White House must come clean on what’s happening and disclose its plans immediately. And for the sake of Americans’ trust in our republic, the Biden administration must be stopped.”