Major conservative groups unify behind state GOP efforts to restrict voting
March 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 23: Detail view of a voting booth during Tuesdays Kentucky primary election on June 23, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Exposition Center is the only polling location for Tuesday's Kentucky primary in Jefferson County, home to Louisville and 767,000 residents. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
National Republican groups are working to drive the state-by-state GOP efforts to limit voting -- offering guidance to the state lawmakers drafting laws to restrict ballot access, deploying grassroots activists to key battlegrounds and raising millions of dollars to block efforts by Democrats in Congress to establish a national baseline for voting rights.
(CNN)National Republican groups are working to drive the state-by-state GOP efforts to limit voting -- offering guidance to the state lawmakers drafting laws to restrict ballot access, deploying grassroots activists to key battlegrounds and raising millions of dollars to block efforts by Democrats in Congress to establish a national baseline for voting rights.
Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, has publicly committed to spending at least $10 million to "secure and strengthen state election systems. " And guidelines sent out earlier this year by the Heritage Foundation -- including extending identification requirements to absentee voting and barring third-party groups from collecting voters' absentee ballots -- have emerged in bills now racing through the Legislature in Georgia and other statehouses.
The involvement of national groups shows that efforts to restrict voting in dozens of states "are not a coincidence," said Hillary Holley, organizing director of the Georgia-based voting rights group Fair Fight Action.
Honest Elections Project, a conservative group launched to work on voting issues, has issued its own list of "best practices" for elections that include more photo identification.
Even as GOP lawmakers work to help advance bills at the state level, national Republican organizations are waging an aggressive campaign against the so-called For the People Act, a far-reaching congressional bill that would bring sweeping change to the ways in which elections are conducted and funded.
The bill, which has passed the Democratic-controlled House and is under consideration in the Senate, would effectively establish a federal floor on voting procedures -- requiring, for instance, 15 days of early voting, prepaid postage on absentee ballots and voter registration on the same day as the election.
Progressive groups, which also plan to plow millions into the fight to support the Senate bill, describe the legislation as potentially their last chance to preserve voting rights as Republican lawmakers race to erect more barriers to the ballot at the state level.