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As the 2024 presidential election approaches, concerns among GOP election officials about President Biden’s Executive Order 14019 and its potential impact on state election administration are mounting. Secretaries of State Mac Warner of West Virginia and Michael Watson of Mississippi have been vocal about their apprehensions regarding what they term as “Bidenbucks,” warning about federal interference in the electoral process.

Executive Order 14019, signed by Biden in March 2021, directed federal agencies to use taxpayer dollars to bolster voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, sparking criticism from conservative quarters. The order mandated federal departments to collaborate with allegedly nonpartisan third-party organizations for voter registration services, a move viewed with suspicion given the left-leaning nature of some of these organizations like the ACLU and Demos.

Federal agencies’ reluctance to disclose documents related to the order’s implementation and their collaboration with left-leaning groups has fueled concerns about transparency and potential biases in voter registration efforts. Warner and Watson have taken a firm stance against what they perceive as federal overreach, citing constitutional provisions granting states the authority to regulate election procedures.

Warner’s refusal to accept voter registration forms collected by federal agents aligns with his interpretation of state sovereignty in election matters, as outlined in Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Watson has echoed Warner’s sentiments, indicating a unified front among some GOP election officials against perceived federal intrusion.

Other Republican Secretaries of State, including David Scanlan of New Hampshire, Wes Allen of Alabama, and Chuck Gray of Wyoming, have expressed similar reservations about Executive Order 14019. They argue that state laws governing voter registration processes supersede federal directives and pledge to uphold state sovereignty in election administration.

While some GOP officials like Michael Howe of North Dakota and Frank LaRose of Ohio have indicated compliance with federal guidelines on voter registration, citing state-specific legal frameworks, the debate surrounding Executive Order 14019 underscores broader tensions between federal mandates and states’ rights, particularly in the context of election integrity and autonomy.