Biden signs executive order on voting access

March 8, 2021: Joe Biden signed an executive order to promote voting access.

President Joe Biden (D) and his team have been preparing for the transition between presidential administrations since the election, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.

In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden administration.


  • Biden issued an executive order on Sunday directing federal agencies to submit proposals on how to promote voter registration and participation and improve access to information about upcoming elections. The executive order also calls for the website to be modernized.
  • Biden also issued a notice on Friday continuing the declaration of a national emergency with respect to Iran.
  • The Senate passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Saturday. The House must vote on the bill again since its provisions differ from what they previously passed. For more information about the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki indicated on Friday that Biden wanted to limit war power authority. She said that Biden wanted to “ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars.”

Transition in Context: Gender Policy Council

On Monday, Biden is expected to sign an executive order establishing the White House Gender Policy Council.

A similar group, called the White House Council on Women and Girls, existed during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. President Donald Trump (R) dissolved the council in his first year in office.

A Biden administration official said the new council’s name reflected that gender discrimination can happen to anyone. The official added, however, that “there will be a focus on women and girls, particularly women and girls of color, given the historical and disproportionate barriers that they face.”

Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso will co-chair the council. Klein is the chief strategy and policy officer at TIME’S UP, and Reynoso is chief of staff to First Lady Jill Biden. 

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