WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Sunday ordering the federal government to promote access to the vote as part of an initiative to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches for civil rights.
Biden will order federal agencies to expand access to voter registration and election information, according to an administration official. This includes leading the heads of all federal agencies to submit a “strategic plan” to the White House of 200 ways on how their departments can promote voter registration and participation.
In addition, the US Federal Information Officer will coordinate among federal agencies to “improve or modernize” federal websites and digital services that provide information about elections and voting under the ordinance.
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Biden’s limited-scope executive action comes as he backs Democratic-led voting rights legislation HR 1, which allowed the House this week to vote online. This would usher in sweeping electoral reforms such as increasing early voting, reducing photo-ID requirements, allowing same-day registration, and independent redistribution of congressional districts.
The bill would also fight efforts by Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country who – inspired by former President Donald Trump’s false claims about widespread voter fraud during his electoral loss – are considering news. measures that would restrict voter access.
Biden is expected to sign the order as he virtually addresses the Martin and Coretta King unit breakfast Sunday afternoon in remembrance of “Blood Sunday” in Selma, Alabama. On March 7, 1965, over 100 peaceful protesters en route to Montgomery, including the late Representative John Lewis, were greeted on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by a police wall. The demonstrators were tear gas and beaten. Lewis’s skull was fractured.
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Typically, Biden, other high-profile Democrats and civil rights leaders would make a pilgrimage to Selma for the anniversary, but there is no in-person rally amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden’s executive order will also be:
► Direct federal agencies to assist states in their voter registration efforts under the National Voter Registration Act 1993.
►Order the General Service Administration to improve and modernize the federal voter registration website Vote.gov.
►Order leave recommendations for federal employees allowing them to vote or volunteer as non-partisan poll workers
►To direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to assess and publish recommendations on the measures necessary to ensure that the online federal voter registration form is accessible to people with disabilities.
►Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will establish procedures to provide every member of the military the opportunity to register to vote in federal elections, update voter registration, or request a vote each year. correspondence.
► Direct the Attorney General to establish procedures to provide educational materials on voter registration and voting to all eligible persons in federal prisons or on probation by federal court.
►Establish a Native American Voting Rights Steering Group that will work with tribal organizations to identify best practices to protect Native American voting rights
Editor-in-chief Deborah Barfield Berry contributed to this report. Join Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.