President Biden is trying to turn government into a get-out-the-vote operation for his own political party. After failing to pass federal legislation to federalize control of the elections through Congress, and after states passed election integrity bills of their own, the president is attempting a very quiet federal election takeover using an executive order to redirect federal tax dollars toward identifying new voting blocs who are expected to heavily support Democratic candidates.
One year ago, the Oval Office issued Executive Order 14019, which demanded more than a dozen federal agencies to register new voters and “promote voter participation.” The list of agencies ranged from the Department of Education to the Department of Homeland Security.
The average American does not think of federal agencies as responsible for voter registration and get out the vote efforts, and very few details have been released about the order’s implementation. This is by design—when politicians aren’t bragging, they are usually hiding.
In this case, the Biden administration is hiding an effort to require federal agencies to work with partisan private groups to strategically boost voter turnout in areas that would benefit Democrats. This order tips the scales to favor one party at every level of our representative democracy.
This is like the “Zuckerbucks” scandal that funneled millions of private dollars into Democrat-favored districts during the 2020 election. But rather than Facebook’s founder funding it, taxpayers would.
Under the guise of grants to help protect voters from Covid-19, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg distributed more than $400 million to government election offices through a non-profit run by a former fellow of the Obama Foundation. Numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests revealed the grants were largely not used to purchase personal protective equipment, as was claimed. Instead, the funds were used to boost election turnout in left-leaning districts, effectively embedding highly partisan efforts within government agencies.
Like President Biden’s latest executive order, the cover story was seemingly innocuous. Zuckerberg used “Covid-19 relief” as an excuse to gain unprecedented access and influence over the administration of elections at every level. He used it to overwhelmingly benefit Democrats.
Now, as state legislatures pass election integrity laws to make sure the Zuckerberg scandal will never happen again, President Biden is taking action to ensure it will happen again and on an even bigger scale in Democrat strongholds.
If there was ever any doubt this executive order was politically driven, the text of the order aligns almost exactly with the policy recommendation from a December 2020 report produced by the far-left activist group Demos. According to the order, the heads of federal agencies will be tasked with promoting voter registration and voter participation. These activities reach far beyond their stated missions.
Soon after the White House issued the order, Demos published a document discussing how the Biden administration could best implement it. Even more concerning is that the two Demos officials who helped draft the group’s original recommendation now working for the White House.
K. Sabeel Rahman, the former president of Demos, is now President Biden’s senior counselor for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and Chiraag Bains, who was Demos’ director of legal strategies, now reports directly to President Biden’s director of the U.S. Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. These appointments raise concerns about the extent to which a partisan outfit is shaping U.S. policy.
Even after a year, efforts to discover whether the administration is following Demos’ advice have so far hit dead ends. The Foundation for Government Accountability filed FOIA requests with multiple agencies about their compliance with the executive order but has yet to receive details about their plans.
What little the Biden administration has revealed is troubling. In a high-level report released last fall, the administration admitted the Department of Education is preparing a “tool kit of resources and strategies for increasing civic engagement.” These resources will be aimed at elementary-age students, and it does not appear parents will have any control over the content. The Department of Health and Human Services also “will launch a new voting access hub.”
None of these provisions are well defined, and they all open the door to partisan electioneering run by the federal government. Documents from Demos argue these programs should be at least partially targeted toward those who receive welfare—effectively allowing the administration to target the registration of voting blocs that typically lean heavily toward Democrat candidates. Additionally, the centralization of power at the federal level bypasses the legislative process.
President Biden is attempting to weaponize federal agencies to achieve partisan goals that he can’t accomplish through traditional legislative means. This behavior not only jeopardizes our system of checks and balances but also threatens the future of our democracy.