NEW YORK—Demos Associate Director of Policy and Research Laura Williamson issued the following statement on Thursday in response to a new White House fact sheet on initiatives that federal agencies are taking to provide voter registration services to persons they serve.
“By definition, democracy requires ensuring all eligible Americans can exercise their right to vote. Demos applauds the White House and federal agencies’ efforts to eliminate barriers to the ballot by encouraging federal agencies — such as Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Interior, and others — to provide voter registration opportunities to the people they serve.
“After nearly 20 years of successfully pushing for effective agency registration on the state level—resulting in the addition of millions more voters to the rolls—Demos is confident that the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Voting Rights is the most powerful tool available to the Executive Branch in the fight to safeguard the fundamental right to vote. Demos’ top recommendation for executive action to protect voting rights was an executive order on federal agency voter registration, and we were encouraged when the Administration issued such an Executive Order in March 2021. However, success of this Executive Order hinges on effective implementation by the agencies. One year in, we need strong follow through on the commitments agencies already have made and additional, stronger commitments from agencies. In particular, we need more agencies to incorporate robust voter registration services and assistance into all their programs and services possible.
“The fight for an inclusive, multiracial democracy has never been more important. Every day, we see new challenges to the fundamental right of Black and brown people, low-income people, persons with limited English proficiency, and persons with disabilities to vote. There is no time to waste in fully leveraging the federal agencies in protecting the fundamental right to vote.”