Bidenbucks: How the Federal Government is Quietly Taking Over Elections
- BY FGA
UPDATE: Responding to a federal judge’s order, the Biden administration has delivered a portion of the required documents pertaining to the ongoing “Bidenbucks” scandal. Instead of 5,500 records—the number of potentially responsive records DOJ originally claimed to have—it turned over a mere 135 pages, and most were heavily redacted. The response raises a significant question about why the administration wants to keep this information hidden from the public ahead of November’s election. The FGA review of the documents is ongoing, as is our continuing legal battle against the administration. Read more here…
On March 7, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14019, vaguely titled “Promoting Access to Voting.” Hidden inside the executive order are new directives that, if left unchecked, could involve partisan federal agencies in voter registration and ultimately sway the results of future elections.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) acted quickly to publicly expose this scandal, bring the fight to the Biden administration in court, and help states stop Bidenbucks at the local level throughout the country. But with Election Day nearly here, the administration is doing everything it can to run out the clock.
Background: EO 14019 brings partisanship into voter registration
The executive order requires the head of every federal executive agency to provide a strategic plan to the president’s Domestic Policy Advisor detailing how the agency will help increase voter registration and voter participation. This will involve federal agencies like the Department of Defense, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Environmental Protection Agency in registering people to vote.
Executive Order 14019 also mandates that all federal agencies support “approved” third-party organizations to provide voter registration services on federal agency premises. Tellingly, no guidance was provided on what criteria will be used to approve these third parties. In fact, the administration has been especially tight-lipped on what third parties will be allowed to register voters, who will approve these groups, and other details of the plans. The question naturally arises—what are they trying to hide?
The problem with “Bidenbucks”
At the minimum, what’s become known as “Bidenbucks” is a clear abuse of power. Political appointees—whose job security literally depends on Democrats being re-elected in 2022 and 2024—are being deputized to register and mobilize voters and submit their plans directly to the White House.
It is an unconstitutional and undemocratic way for the incumbent to intentionally put his or her finger on the scale to affect the outcome of an election—and use your tax dollars to do so.
Another big problem is the level of secrecy that has accompanied this executive order. When several agencies failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for documents pertaining to President Biden’s order, the FGA filed suit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), leading to a court ruling that ordered DOJ to produce all documents it is required to produce under the law ahead of this year’s election.
On September 8, DOJ turned over some (but not all) of the documents legally required, and what was turned over was heavily redacted. What is the administration trying so hard to hide? More information about the ongoing battle can be found here.
This is “round four” of the Democrats’ attempts to undermine local control over our elections. Their previous three attempts garnered significant public outcry and pushback once they became public—hence the secrecy this time around.
Fighting back in the states and in Congress
Lawmakers at the state and federal level are working to expose and stop “Bidenbucks” before November.
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) has introduced the Promoting Free and Fair Elections Act to prohibit federal agencies from entering into agreements with non-governmental organizations hand-selected by the White House to conduct voter registration activities or from using federal funds to carry out voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts targeting only likely Democrat voters.
At the state level, Louisiana Rep. Beau Beaullieu (R-New Iberia) quickly introduced a bill (HB 359) to require legislative approval of any new federal election funding—to ensure it is dispersed equitably—and limit the ability of the federal government to exert undue or illegal influence on the local administration of elections.
Unfortunately, despite bipartisan passage in the legislature (including unanimous support in the state Senate), Louisiana’s governor vetoed HB 359.
In Wisconsin, Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) introduced a bill (SB 941) which required legislative oversight of any new federal election guidance, and included an accountability measure in the form of a legislative audit of the total number of ballots requested, cast, and rejected in each county.
Similarly, SB 941 was vetoed by Wisconsin’s governor.
Lawmakers, both in Congress and at the state level, know that election integrity matters to the people they were elected to represent. Important progress has been made over the past two years towards restoring trust in our elections, but new schemes like Bidenbucks threaten that progress. While FGA awaits the results of our ongoing efforts in court, state and federal elected officials have a historic opportunity to join this fight, both today and in your state’s next legislative session.
Fox News: State lawmakers push back on ‘Bidenbucks’ election executive order
Washington Times: Tarren Bragdon and Russell Vought: States must stand up against the Biden takeover of elections
The Federalist: Tarren Bragdon: Biden’s Illegal Election Hail Mary Might Still Be Intercepted