Group Files to Help States Fighting Soros-Backed Voter ID Lawsuits

Top Clinton campaign lawyer also behind challenges to voter ID laws ahead of 2016 elections

George Soros
George Soros / AP
August 5, 2015

An election integrity group has filed motions to assist three states that have been hit with anti-voter ID lawsuits.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, an election group headed by attorney J. Christian Adams, is seeking to appear alongside the states in court to defend their laws. The group seeks to "provide an understanding of this national strategy and the national implications" of the lawsuits in a way "any singular defendant is unlikely to provide."

The foundation says the voter ID lawsuits are a coordinated national attack on integrity that can change the outcome of elections.

Lawsuits targeting the three states are being led by Hillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and are fueled with money from liberal billionaire George Soros. Many anticipate that the effort will expand to other states as the 2016 elections approach.

"These three coordinated national attacks on election integrity were filed because partisan interests realize process rules can change election outcomes," Adams said. "Some political candidates prefer elections with dirty rolls and unverified individuals casting ballots at the same time they register to vote. But most Americans do not."

The motions filed by the group seek to "prevent treasured civil rights statutes such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 from being turned into partisan weapons to leverage federal power over state elections merely to advantage one political party and disadvantage another."

Adams hopes to assist the states against the lawsuits that were launched in Ohio this past May and in Wisconsin and Virginia in June

Marc Elias, a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm Perkins Coie and a top campaign lawyer for Hillary Clinton, filed the lawsuits against the three states. The anti-voter ID challenges are backed with millions of dollars from George Soros.

Elias first contemplated taking action against multiple states with voter identification laws in January 2014. When Soros learned of what Elias had planned, the liberal billionaire put $5 million behind the efforts.

"We hope to see these unfair laws, which often disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our society, repealed," Soros told the New York Times at the time.

Elias is working independently on the lawsuits although they are supported by the Clinton campaign. The Washington Free Beacon previously sought comment from both Elias and Soros’s press office on their multi-state effort challenging the laws. Neither returned the inquiries.

"This is a national strategy to affect the outcome of a national election," Adams told the Free Beacon.

In June, as the lawsuit submissions were underway, Clinton began publicly stepping up her attack on voter identification laws.

During a June 4 speech at historically black Texas Southern University, Clinton called on Republicans to stop "fear-mongering" over a "phantom epidemic" of election fraud.

"I call on Republicans at all levels of government with all manner of ambition to stop fear-mongering about a phantom epidemic of election fraud and start explaining why they’re so scared of letting citizens have their say," Clinton said during her speech to a half-empty arena at the university.

Clinton also called for a universal, automatic voter registration system for 18-year-olds and expressed her support for extending early voting up to 20 days before an election.

As of March 25, 2015, a total of 34 states have passed voter identification laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of the 34 states, 32 currently have laws that are enforced.

Elias and Soros are expected to bring additional lawsuits in other states as part of their national campaign.