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‘Federal overreach’: Merrill calls on Biden to rescind voter registration executive order

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has joined a letter with 14 of his Republican counterparts calling on President Joe Biden to rescind an executive order relating to the administration of elections.

Last year, Biden issued Executive Order 14019, called “Promoting Access to Voting.”

The order mandated that the leadership of every federal agency submit a plan to White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice outlining the steps their respective agencies would take to “promote voter registration and voter participation.”

Biden’s decree detailed that all federal agencies support “approved” third-party organizations to provide voter registration services on federal agency premises located in states across the nation.

In their letter to Biden, which was sent last week, Merrill and his colleagues argued that the executive order lacked proper constitutional authority to be issued.

“Executive Order 14019 was issued without Constitutional authority nor Congressional approval,” wrote the secretaries of state. “Executive Order 14019 calls for federal agencies to develop plans that duplicate voter registration efforts conducted at the state level and ignores codified procedures and programs in our state constitutions and laws.”

The authors added, “If implemented, the Executive Order would also erode the responsibilities and duties of the state legislatures to their situational authority within the Elections Clause.”

In a statement detailing his opposition to the executive order, Merrill advised that the Constitution charged states, rather than the federal government, with the responsibility of carrying out the administration of elections.

“Not only is the administration of the election process a responsibility delegated to the states by the U.S. Constitution, but these unique policy decisions are best left to state officials,” advised Merrill in a release. “President Biden’s Executive Order 14019 is another example of the federal overreach and this administration’s attempt to federalize the election process.”

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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