Washington, D.C. – Today, a diverse coalition of 53 health, racial justice, environmental, labor, immigration, faith-based, disability rights, education, LGBTQ+, housing, justice reform, and voting and civil rights organizations published a new report – Strengthening Democracy: A Progress Report on Federal Agency Action to Promote Access to Voting – which assesses how federal agencies have responded to President Biden’s 2021 executive order to increase access to voting. In an era of heightened barriers to the ballot across the nation, the report estimates that robust implementation of the President’s directive to increase voting access across ten federal agencies could result in 3.5 million additional voter registrations per year.
The report comes ahead of the 58th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” assault on peaceful civil rights advocates in Selma, Alabama, which galvanized the push for voting rights protections, and two years after President Biden issued a visionary executive order (Voting Access Executive Order) on promoting voting access throughout the federal government.
Three agencies in particular – the Department of Interior, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Treasury – are identified in the report as on the right track to complete implementation and fully integrate voter registration services into their everyday interactions with the public.
Despite the progress made at these agencies, a significant number of important departments have not kept pace in their progress to implement the Voting Access Executive Order. The report urges the Biden-Harris Administration to follow through on its vision and leadership in issuing the EO and urges the agencies to fully implement its mandates. It makes specific recommendations for what executive branch agencies that still have work to do or are falling behind should do:
In addition to the report, nearly 100 stakeholder organizations representing millions of voters and potential voters, urged in a letter to the Biden-Harris Administration to hasten the pace at which agencies implement and operationalize the executive order. With less than two years before the end of this term, time is of the essence. It’s imperative that the administration fulfill the opportunity they have created to implement a whole-of-government approach to promoting voter registration and access to voting,
Read the full report, Strengthening Democracy: A Progress Report on Federal Agency Action to Promote Access to Voting, here.