Ever wonder who is behind all the lawsuits filed to overturn state voter ID laws? Those lawsuits are very expensive, after all, racking up 1,000's of billable hours from some very high-end law firms. Well, courtesy of the 2,500 documents recently released by DC Leaks, we now know that George Soros is funding the legal fees as part of his stated goal to "enlarge [the U.S.] electorate by at least 10 million voters" by 2018.
The specifics of the plan were discussed at the May 2014 board meeting of the "Open Society Foundations" a liberal grant-making group founded by Soros (the full 222-page presentation from the board meeting can be found at the end of this post). The Society's first goal under its "Proposed Strategic Framework 2015-2018" was to "strengthen the quality of American democracy through greater inclusion, participation & accountability." Under the goal, the Society's top objective was to:
Enlarge [the U.S.] electorate by at least 10 million voters through modernization of voter registration systems, and through expanded constitutional/legislative protections
As context for their mission to expand the electorate, the Open Society warned that "American democracy is threatened" by, among other things, "undue influence of wealthy interests." Isn't it ironic that an organization funded by George Soros would be worried about the "undue influence of wealthy interests" on the American political system?
American democracy is threatened. Broad ideological (and geographic) polarization is reflected in a decline in fact-based discourse, and deeply divided federal and state government institutions. Fueled by misguided Supreme Court decisions, our public life and politics have been flooded by the undue influence of wealthy interests acting for their own benefit even as voting by historically marginalized constituencies is challenged.
The Open Society board presentation goes on to enumerate 4 specific "tactics" that would be utilized to expand the electorate. The wording of the tactics is masterful effectively painting anyone who might support "election integrity" laws as a bigots looking to erect barriers to voter registration as a means to suppress or deny certain segments of the population the right to vote.
More fully equip those with less voice - including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, APIA communities, and Middle Eastern, Arab, South Asian and Muslim communities – to effectively influence public policy issues, including those concerning the rule of law, public access to information and voting, internet regulation, and criminal justice.
Broaden the electorate by lowering barriers to voter registration through the various forms of modernization and increased ballot access, while sustaining and expanding the franchise by establishing strong protections against vote suppression, denial and dilution.
Give more equal weight to the speech of all who influence elections and policymaking, by reducing the undue influence of the few wealthy interests influencing politics and policy, including ongoing support for anchors and through developing and seeding alternative legal theories that support regulation of political spending in elections.
Improve effectiveness and participatory capacity of municipal governments, especially in places experiencing demographic shifts or without significant civic capacity
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Soros first started challenging voter ID laws in 2014 and subsequently was quoted publicly as saying "We hope to see these unfair laws, which often disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our society, repealed." Soros also publicly vowed to spend at least $5mm on the effort in 2015.
In fact, the first lawsuit challenging voter ID laws came in Ohio in 2014 just days before the Open Society board meeting. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the "Ohio Organizing Collaborative" even though they had to be replaced later in the case due a state investigation alleging they had forged signatures and "registered dead people to vote." Oops.
The first in a series of lawsuits claiming that voter ID laws disproportionately hurt minority voters was filed in Ohio just days before the Open Society documents were transmitted to the board of directors in May 2014.
Elias filed the Ohio lawsuit on behalf of a group called the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. That group was later replaced on the lawsuit when it was investigated by a state criminal agency for allegedly forging signatures and registering dead people to vote.
Ironically, or perhaps not, 1 year after the Open Society NY board meeting the State of California took the unprecedented step of automatically registering to vote every single person who stopped by the DMV for a driver's license or ID card, unless that person specifically opted out. Per the Los Angeles Times:
When people go to the DMV to obtain or renew a driver's license, or to get a state identification card, they’ll be asked for the usual information in such transactions, such as their name, date of birth and address. They’ll also be asked to affirm their eligibility to vote and will be given the choice of opting out of registering at that time. Information about anyone who does not decline registration will be electronically transmitted from the DMV to the secretary of state’s office, where citizenship will be verified and names will be added to the voter rolls.
According to J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm that litigates to defend election integrity, Soros is doing everything possible to "fundamentally transform American elections." Per the Washington Free Beacon:
“George Soros is involved in every aspect of manipulating the rules of American elections,” Adams told the Washington Free Beacon. “From funding Pew’s efforts to centralize election administration, to fueling litigation that attacks election integrity laws, to fanning the flames of racial agitation and polarization, Soros dollars are doing all they can to fundamentally transform American elections.”