Democrats Quickly Build Massive Network to Combat Voter ID Laws

Another nonprofit launched with overlapping board members of other prominent liberal groups to fight Republican efforts

February 9, 2017

Democrats are moving swiftly to build a large network to push back against voter identification laws after President Donald Trump claimed illegal immigrants gave Hillary Clinton the edge in the popular vote and called for a "major investigation" into potential voter fraud.

Democratic-aligned groups have since rolled out what amounts to a large infrastructure to oppose any potential Republican efforts to enact further voter ID laws.

Let America Vote, a nonprofit that filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Monday, has been established by former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State and failed Senate candidate Jason Kander. The group says they are dedicated to "winning the public debate over voter suppression in the United States."

"Voting in our country has never been easy, and unfortunately it’s never been guaranteed for everyone," Kander said in a press release. "Let America Vote will make the case for voting rights by exposing the real motivations of those who favor voter suppression laws. For the first time, politicians intent on denying certain Americans the right to vote will first have to consider the political consequences."

The nonprofit plans to work in conjunction with other liberal groups and has appointed high-level liberal operatives to its advisory board.

Josh Earnest, President Obama's former White House Press Secretary; Martin Luther King Jr. III, a human rights activist; Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY's List; and Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama; all sit on the 27-person advisory board.

Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA, has also joined the board. Priorities USA was the largest liberal super PAC that backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Marc Elias, the former top campaign lawyer for Clinton's presidential campaign and a partner at the Washington, D.C. office of the Perkins Coie law firm, is also listed as a member of the advisory board.

Elias led challenges against voter ID laws in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and North Carolina that were bankrolled by millions from liberal billionaire George Soros. Elias recently joined the board of Priorities USA to help the group in its efforts to combat voter laws.

Priorities USA, which is also funded by Soros, absorbed Every Citizen Counts, a nonprofit that was created by Clinton allies to mobilize Latino and African-American voters.

Priorities will build a national database that's intended to be a "one-stop inventory" on voting measures which it will share with other progressive groups.

Additionally, Ellen Kurz, the president of iVote, a group formed in 2014 to "secure voting rights" for all Americans, will sit on Let America Vote's advisor board. In return, Kander will join the board of iVote.

Logan Churchwell, the spokesperson for the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a legal group that fights for election integrity through litigation efforts, told the Washington Free Beacon that the term "nonprofit" is too generous of a term for Let America Vote and that the group is "a super PAC through and through."

Churchwell then referred to the ramped up efforts against voter laws as "soft bigotry" from Democrats.

"For years, opponents of election integrity reforms have advertised to march under the banner of protecting civil rights, while arguing that voter ID laws are harmful because black voters aren't 'sophisticated' enough to follow the rules," Churchwell said. "The soft bigotry of low expectations has predictably resulted in a backlash, leading to polling demonstrating that between 70 and 80 percent of Americans support voter ID. As a point of fact, voter ID tends to be more popular among the poorer, lesser educated, older, and minorities in general. All that remain are wealthier, white liberals. No wonder the 'advisory board' is 63 percent white."

Let America Vote did not return requests for comment.