Who is promoting and funding voter suppression?
The conservative The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been an important driver in drafting ‘model legislation’ that is widely adopted by Republican state legislators since 1973. One of its aims was the tightening of Voter ID laws. However, its power ‘behind the scenes’ has been disrupted.
“In July 2011, The Nation published a series of articles produced in collaboration with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that showcased some of the ALEC model bills and described ties to the Koch family, and CMD launched a website “ALEC Exposed” that documented more than 800 of ALEC’s model bills, the legislators and corporations that had helped to draft them, and the states that enacted them. The joint effort, and particularly its coverage of ALEC’s push for tough voter ID laws, prompted the advocacy group Color of Change to launch a public campaign to pressure corporations to withdraw their ALEC memberships.” It remains a significant force in developing right-wing legislation on a wide range of issues, but is now subject to much more scrutiny.
Diallo, Amadou. “Who is funding voter suppression?“Aljazeera. February 12, 2106
Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program
The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, to ‘root out voter fraud,’ was created in 2005 by the controversial Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the man who also championed illegal ‘voter caging’ in his state. Up to 30 states have participated and over 7 million names are on these lists. The lists are supposed to include full names, last four digits of SS numbers and birth dates but in practice much of this data is missing, names on the list have included supposed double voters with different middle names and no other information. Common names, like Brown, Jackson and Lee, tend to be also minority names so they are disproportionately affected. Voters don’t know they’ve been thrown off the rolls until they show up at the polls; but if just a fraction of these people were disenfranchised, the outcome of many races in these states might have been different. It’s hard to know how many voters were affected in 2016 because states don’t have to release this information.
Kobach now heads Trump’s Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.
There is a respected alternative to Crosscheck called the Electronic Registration Information Center – ERIC – started by the PEW Charitable Trust, which is accurate, reliable and helps clean up voter registration rolls, boost turnout and save states money. ERIC is now used by 20 states.
See these articles on the operation of Interstate Crosscheck