USDA Partners with Left-Wing Group to Increase Voter Turnout

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered with the group Demos to increase voter turnout ahead of the 2024 presidential election, according to documents obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project.

Demos is a “movement-oriented think tank committed to racial justice,” according to the group’s website. “Through research, litigation, strategic communications, and deep partnerships with grassroots organizations across the country, we build power with and for Black and brown communities.”

The move is a result of Biden’s 2021 Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, which called for government agencies to “partner with State, local, Tribal, and territorial election officials to protect and promote the exercise of the right to vote, eliminate discrimination and other barriers to voting, and expand access to voter registration and accurate election information.”

According to Fred Lucas of The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet, The Daily Signal, Demos contributed to the executive order.

In an email, Demos’ former senior counsel and political director Adam Lioz wrote to the USDA, “With apologies for the delay, I wanted to follow up and thank you all for all your time and a productive conversation. As we noted, we’ll have our ‘best practices’ slides ready in the next 1-2 weeks and in the meantime, y’all had asked for data on voter registration at the state level, which I’ve pasted below.”

“We’re eager to schedule follow up conversations to dig into specific programs and help with integration in any way we can. Just let us know when you are available for that,” Lioz continued.

Following the 2021 executive order, House Republicans “raised concerns about the Biden Administration’s lack of constitutional and statutory authority to enact the Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, E.O. 14019,” reads a press release from the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

“We write today to inquire about the Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, E.O. 14019, which President Joe Biden signed on March 7, 2021, and to share our concerns about the lack of constitutional and statutory authority for federal agencies to engage in any activity beyond its stated mission, including federal voting access and registration activities,” wrote Reps. James Comer (R-KY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Oversight Committee Republicans in a letter to U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Robin Carnahan and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja.

“We are certain you agree with us that every eligible voter who chooses to vote must have the opportunity to vote, and that every lawful vote must count, and increased voter registration and participation is a goal we share. Yet, our system requires that our actions must comport always with the Constitution and other federal law. We are concerned that this Executive Order goes beyond the power of the President and the statutory authority given to federal agencies, specifically (1) Directing federal agencies to assist states with voter registration if a state requests assistance; (2) Expanding the use of and suggesting agencies add a link to it on their websites; and (3) Proposing ways to increase federally funded government employee participation in the voting process.”

“We share the same goal of protecting every eligible citizen’s right to vote and that every lawful vote must count. However, we must follow the paradigm as established by the Constitution. States have the primary role in establishing election law with Congress playing a secondary role. As the federal government, we must exercise caution to ensure the actions we take are constitutional,” the letter added.