Recently, President Joe Biden enacted Executive Order 14019 that would insert federal agencies into the state's electoral processes.

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen told us on Wednesday why she joined 14 other Secretaries of State across the U.S. in calling on President Biden to rescind the executive order.

Jacobsen quoted the words of the U.S. Constitution in her letter to the President.

“Our United States Constitution clearly says ‘the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed by each state by the legislature thereof,” said Jacobsen. “But the Congress may at any time by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.”

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Jacobsen said the Constitution is clear as to where electoral authority lies, within each state.

“As the supreme law of the land, the Constitution clearly states, the state legislatures shall prescribe the way elections are run,” she said. “Because of that if any adjustments need to be made, such as adjustments are the province of Congress, not the executive branch.”

Jacobsen said Montana’s election authorities know best how to handle Montana’s elections, not any federal agency.

“I mean, it really boils down to this,” she said. “If we have federal agencies that have time and resources to do jobs outside of what their scope of authority and responsibility is, then it tells me that they're not doing their jobs or they don't have enough to do if they're able to take on elections of Montana.”

Jacobsen said federal interference with Montana’s elections will throw local and statewide elections into confusion.

“Some of the unintended consequences, or intended consequences potentially, are duplication of voter registration or voter registrations,” she said. “If we have independent third parties involved in (local elections) it's an opportunity to create confusion for the voters. We do not want other federal agencies to be providing information on our elections.”

The letter also stated the Executive Order "would also erode the responsibility and duties of the state legislatures."

Read the President’s Executive Order here, and Secretary of State Jacobsen’s letter here.

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