US media is reporting on what is described as a network of “dark-money organizations” attempting to foster voter suppression in the US. According to the New Yorker report:
Although the Arizona audit may appear to be the product of local extremists, it has been fed by sophisticated, well-funded national organizations whose boards of directors include some of the country’s wealthiest and highest-profile conservatives. Dark-money organizations, sustained by undisclosed donors, have relentlessly promoted the myth that American elections are rife with fraud, and, according to leaked records of their internal deliberations, they have drafted, supported, and in some cases taken credit for state laws that make it harder to vote. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island who has tracked the flow of dark money in American politics, told me that a “flotilla of front groups” once focussed on advancing such conservative causes as capturing the courts and opposing abortion have now “more or less shifted to work on the voter-suppression thing.” These groups have cast their campaigns as high-minded attempts to maintain “election integrity,” but Whitehouse believes that they are in fact tampering with the guardrails of democracy. One of the movement’s leaders is the Heritage Foundation, the prominent conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. It has been working with the American Legislative Exchange Council (alec)—a corporate-funded nonprofit that generates model laws for state legislators—on ways to impose new voting restrictions. Among those deep in the fight is Leonard Leo, a chairman of the Federalist Society, the legal organization known for its decades-long campaign to fill the courts with conservative judges. In February, 2020, the Judicial Education Project, a group tied to Leo, quietly rebranded itself as the Honest Elections Project, which subsequently filed briefs at the Supreme Court, and in numerous states, opposing mail-in ballots and other reforms that have made it easier for people to vote.
Read the entire report here.
Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reporting on similar topics has included:
- In May 2021, we reported how US Republican false claims about a stolen election originated with a Texas businessman and his associates.
- In March 2021, we reported how what were described as pro-Trump forces worked to spread the disinformation that the so-called Antifa (anti-fascist) movement was to blame for the violence at the US Capitol.
- In November 2020, we reported that Facebook had banned an Arizona marketing said to have been working on behalf of a prominent conservative youth organization supporting US President Trump.