Biden signs order to expand voting access

"I'm signing an executive order to make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting."

U.S. President Joe Biden marked the anniversary of the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, Alabama, by issuing an executive order designed to make it easier for Americans to vote, as Republicans across the country seek to limit voting rights in the wake of the 2020 election.

"The legacy of the march in Selma is that while nothing can stop a free people from exercising their most sacred power as a citizen, there are those who will do everything they can to take that power away."

In his pre-taped remarks released on Sunday, Biden said more than 250 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 43 states during the current legislative session.

"We cannot let them succeed."

Last week Democrats in the House of Representatives passed sweeping legislation to update voting procedures and require states to turn over the task of redrawing congressional districts to independent commissions.

Biden urged lawmakers to pass the bill in the Senate, where it faces tough chances.

"I hope the Senate does its work so I can sign it into law."

Biden's executive order directs federal agencies to submit plans within 200 days that outline steps to expand voter registration and distribute election information to voters. It also directs the U.S. chief information officer to modernize federal websites and digital services that provide voting details.