OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has joined Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in calling on President Joe Biden to rescind his Executive Order 14019 (EO), which authorizes the executive branch to utilize all federal executive agencies’ power, resources, and reach to carry out voter registration and voter mobilization activities.
“I am a big supporter of increased voter participation in elections, but I am also a big supporter of States’ rights,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “I am just as passionate about stopping the growth of the federal government. This executive order directs the use of taxpayer dollars to promote voter registration and participation. The state chief legal officers’ opposition is based in 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.
“As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, I am committed to preserving the state’s right to free and fair elections.”
In a letter to the President, the attorneys general explain that regulating the registration process has been a state legislative function. Biden’s plan grants his political appointees, who lead the hundreds of federal agencies with offices across the country, the power to intervene in elections in unprecedented ways.
“President Biden’s executive order allowing federal agencies to engage in electioneering is illegal, unethical, and unconstitutional,” said General O’Connor. “This is an attempt to use the massive power of federal government agencies and our federal tax dollars to recruit voters in areas which have majority Democratic party members. It could also be used to promote the recruitment of Republican voters under a Republican administration. We cannot start a new activity of government, the buying of voters.”
The AGs’ letter to the President states, “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 executive 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.”
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 O’Connor and Landry in this call to rescind EO 14019 are the attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.