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Biden signs executive order expanding voting rights, registration info

Biden signs executive order expanding voting rights, registration info
President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an executive order directing federal agencies to expand voting rights access and increase information on voter registration. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

March 7 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an executive order expanding voting access and information about voter registration.

The order seeks to increase voting access to people with disabilities, active duty military and other overseas voters as well as citizens in federal custody in addition to modernizing voter information platforms and providing outreach to Native American communities.

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Speaking in pre-recorded remarks for the Martin and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast, Biden noted the order was signed on the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" when Black demonstrators, including the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, were beaten by police while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in a demand for the right to vote.

"Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted," Biden said. "If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote."

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The order directs the heads of all federal agencies to submit proposals promoting voter registration within 200 days by using their websites and social media to provide information on registering to vote and distributing voter registration and vote-by-mail applications in the course of regular services.

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It also calls on the states to assist states in voter registration under the National Voter Registration Act.

Last week, the House passed the "For the People Act" which would expand access to ballots by providing automatic voter registration for all who are eligible, ensuring the right to vote for those who have completed felony sentences, enhancing federal support for voting security and tightening rules on super PAC as well as ending partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts.

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"This is a landmark piece of legislation that is urgently needed to protect the right to vote, the integrity of our elections and to repair and strengthen our democracy," Biden said of the House bill on Sunday. "I hope the Senate does its work so that I can sign it into law."

Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to pass the bill with the chamber divided 50-50 among parties.

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