Joe Biden will sign an executive order expanding voting rights on Sunday, the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when police brutally attacked a voting rights march in Selma, Alabama.
Republicans have advanced more than 250 measures in state legislatures that aim to restrict voting, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
Biden referenced those measures in comments delivered remotely to a unity breakfast in Selma on Sunday, saying, “We can’t let them succeed.”
“If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide,” he said. “Let more people vote.”
House Democrats passed HR1 last week, a bill containing some of the most radical measures to expand voting rights since the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Amid mounting efforts to restrict voting rights, Voting rights, there are increasing calls for Democrats to pass the 60- filibuster vote in the United States Senate to pass the measure.
The United States constitution gives the president little power over voting rights. Therefore, the executive order Biden will sign will implement relatively modest but potentially significant changes.
The most important will instruct federal agencies to offer voter registration opportunities if requested by a state, under a 1993 federal law.
Offering agency voter registration opportunities could increase registration rates among populations where you currently lag behind. Voter registration with the Indian Health Service, for example, could affect more than 1.9 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives, according to an estimate of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Offering registration with the Veterans Association could reach nearly 20 million voters and doing the same at immigration offices could affect more than 760,000 each year.
Another provision of the order requires the Department of Justice to provide individuals in federal custody, including those on parole, voter registration information and “to the extent possible and appropriate” to facilitate voting by mail. .
States have very different policies on when people with a felony conviction can vote, and navigating such rules can be extremely difficult for people once they get out of jail.
Biden’s order also directs the attorney general to establish procedures to help formerly incarcerated individuals obtain identification that they can use to vote.
The order also instructs the federal government to study how to improve voting access for people with disabilities and how each federal agency can improve voter registration opportunities.
Ask officials to develop a plan to improve vote.gov, the federal website for voting information. Biden will also establish a steering group on Native American voting rights and instruct the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense to study how to improve voting access for federal and military employees, as well as for the Americans abroad.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism