Soros has bankrolled efforts to challenge voter ID laws, register minority voters
The plan to grow the electorate by millions of voters was discussed during a May 2014 board meeting of the Open Society Foundations, a liberal grant-making group founded by Soros. A 220-page guide detailing the plan was among more than 2,500 hacked Soros documents released by DC Leaks, which publishes documents from influential officials around the world.
The guide covers strategies and tactics the group will employ in the United States from 2015 to 2018. The top goals listed by the guide are to “advance electoral reform” and “combat suppression.”
“The following four goals form the scaffolding of U.S. Programs’ work,” the guide states. “1. An American democracy strengthened through increased meaningful participation, inclusive practice, and accountability.” The third strategic goal expands upon this, calling for “Full political, economic, and civic participation of immigrants and communities of color by dismantling the barriers and strengthening the conduits to opportunity.”
Later, the guide discusses expanding the electorate by “at least 10 million voters” in the United States. This would be accomplished “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.”
An Open Society Foundations spokesperson affirmed the group’s interest in voter turnout.
“The Open Society Foundations supports efforts to encourage wider participation in U.S. elections, and opposes measures used to try to suppress voter participation,” the spokesperson said via email.
The leaked documents help explain why Soros has quietly funded efforts to battle voter identification laws and target Democratic-trending voters for registration.
Soros began supporting challenges to voter ID laws in 2014.
“We hope to see these unfair laws, which often disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our society, repealed,” Soros said about the campaign in 2015. He vowed to spend at least $5 million on the effort.
The campaign’s leader is Marc Elias, a partner at the D.C-based law firm Perkins Coie and Hillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer. Elias’ work on the legal project is separate from his work on the campaign, although Clinton supports the effort.
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.
Weeks after the Ohio lawsuit was filed, a second lawsuit was filed challenging Wisconsin’s voter ID laws. A third lawsuit was filed in Virginia soon afterward, a challenge Soros and Elias would ultimately lose. Lawsuits in other states followed.
Soros has also funded recent voter registration campaigns from his own bank account.
Soros donated $3 million to the Immigrant Voters Win PAC, which was established to fund the Families Fight Back campaign. That campaign aims to register 400,000 Hispanic voters in swing states before the November elections.
J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm that litigates to defend election integrity, said that Soros is spending big to transform American elections.
“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.”