September 28, 2022
Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes has joined a coalition of attorneys general in calling on Joe Biden to rescind his Executive Order 14019 which authorizes the executive branch to utilize all federal executive agencies’ power, resources, and reach to carry out voter registration and voter mobilization activities. The state chief legal officers’ opposition is based on law, noting that the U.S. Constitution does not provide this power to the executive branch and arguing that this responsibility falls on state legislatures.
In a letter to the President, the attorneys general explain that regulating the registration process has been a state legislative function and that Biden’s plan attempts to grant political appointees who lead the hundreds of federal agencies with offices across the country the power to intervene in elections in unprecedented ways.
From the letter: “Perhaps the most troubling aspect of your executive order is its command for federal agencies to support ‘approved’ third-party organizations as they conduct voter registration efforts by allowing them to do so on federal agency premises in states across the country. The order provides no details as to which groups will be approved, who will approve them, and what criteria will be used for approval. Obviously, there is a legitimate concern that only those groups aligned with the political party of the current administration, your political party, will receive approval and be granted this unprecedented support and access.”
What’s more: the letter highlights the real concern of third-party organizations improperly injecting themselves into the election process by using Biden’s Executive Order to circumvent state election laws. These federally backed third party-organizations may create the appearance of corruption, thus undermining the integrity and public trust in elections.
Joining Utah in this call to rescind EO 14019 are the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
Read the letter here.