Biden’s Executive Order to Increase Welfare Voter Rolls “Could Swing the Election” 

Tennessee Witney /
Tennessee Witney /

In 2021, the Biden administration quietly signed Executive Order 14019 into law, allegedly under the guise of “promoting access for voting.” You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of it among the flurry of more high-profile executive orders signed by the president. 

But it’s a doozy. 

Per the order, the government will play a much more significant and thoroughly unlawful role in the “Get Out the Vote” campaign. Executive departments and agencies will collaborate with State, local, Tribal, and territorial election officials to register voters as Democrats. 

The order targets low-income Americans, welfare recipients, school kids of voting age, and other left-leaning voting blocs by using the power of governmental agencies. 

A directive issued to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aimed to push the department to focus on registering voters, which isn’t exactly in its purview. Similarly, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) collaborated with over 3,000 public housing authorities to spearhead registration drives within public housing units.  

Meanwhile, the Department of Education was encouraged to forge partnerships with state schools, focusing on registering students and promoting civic engagement. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) took steps by dispatching letters to state agencies responsible for administering SNAP and WIC programs, instructing them to conduct voter registration activities using federal funds. 

Merrick Garland was granted the authority to work with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the United States Marshal’s Service to provide “educational materials” and facilitate voter registration to eligible individuals. 

And those are just some of the highlights of Executive Order 14019. 

Tarren Bragdon, the president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), expressed concern about President Biden’s actions. According to Bragdon, the administration directs its authority and resources toward welfare populations in a federally funded get-out-the-vote effort. He cautions, “If they are allowed to fully execute their plan, it could swing the election outcome.” 

According to a study published in February 2023 by the Opportunity Solutions Project, the advocacy branch of FGA, Democrats tend to have a significant edge among voters enrolled in welfare programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. The study reveals that Democrats’ lead widens by over 30 points among welfare recipients compared to low-income voters who have never used welfare assistance.  

The FGA has filed an amicus brief challenging Executive Order 14019. According to FGA, all federal agencies actively implementing the order have a common characteristic: they provide government welfare benefits and services to groups of voters, most of whom have historically voted Democrat. The FGA argues that the order commands every executive agency (except independent agencies) to perform voter mobilization and registration activities despite not being authorized by law to do so.  

Additionally, the order is being carried out secretly despite calls for transparency from members of Congress, State Attorneys General, and Secretaries of State. 

Twenty-seven Republican lawmakers have filed suit against the Biden administration, arguing the executive order is a “get out the vote” campaign funded by taxpayers and benefitting Biden by targeting demographics typically friendly to Democrats. Because Congress never passed a law authorizing Biden to use federal agencies in this manner, the lawsuit questions the executive order’s constitutionality. 

The case is going to the Supreme Court following last month’s dismissal in a Pennsylvania court. The complaint says that the executive order was drafted mainly by a third-party, non-governmental organization called Dēmos, known for advancing progressive issues. The executive action taken by the President unconstitutionally overturns individual legislators’ votes, violating the Electors Clause, which specifies that each state’s legislature should determine the times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives. 

Just before the 2022 midterms, the FGA sued the Department of Justice for documents relating to how Biden uses the executive order. They were given only 135 heavily redacted pages missing critical elements of the order. Among the missing documentation was the specific strategic plan that allegedly outlined how the DOJ planned to “increase voter registration and participation.”  

The DOJ argued at the time that a court case was unnecessary because the information was protected under the presidential communications privilege. It also claimed that releasing the information would lead to a public outcry over actions perceived as “future commitments, past actions, or provisions already in place.” 

In other words, the public won’t like it, so it must stay hidden. 

No one is against encouraging voter registration and urging Americans to vote. However, Americans do not want to see a president abuse taxpayer-funded governmental agencies to bolster a one-sided campaign for his political gain.