New Documents Show Heritage Actions Activities to Make Voting and Registration Harder

990 tax returns were obtained by watchdog group Documented and shared with the Guardian. This shows that Heritage Actions are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the rules that govern American democracy.

The effort helps explain the unprecedented wave of restrictive voting laws swept across Republican-controlled states in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. The Brennan Center reported that 2021 will see the most voter suppression laws passed since it began monitoring voting laws more than a decade ago.

The spending also marks a dramatic increase in Heritage Action’s advocacy efforts. In 2020, Heritage Action reported no spending on external lobbying.

Heritage Action, which includes Republican Major Donor Rebekah Mercer on its board, is set up as a 501(c)4 under U.S. tax law exempting it from paying federal taxes. It operates as a “dark money” group, avoiding disclosing its gross annual revenue sources in excess of $18 million.

Over the past two years, the organization has repeated Donald Trump’s lie that US elections are riddled with fraud through public messages. A private plan produced by Heritage Action last year saw him develop a $24 million “election integrity” strategy over two years.

The plan, obtained by Documented, proposes a two-pronged approach to block Democrats’ moves in Congress to strengthen voting power while also putting pressure on Republican-controlled states to impose restrictions on ballot box access. was doing. “Where Democrats are in power, we must defend against bad policies. Where conservatives and allies are in power, we must make changes that protect the legitimate vote of Americans.” not.”

First reported by The New York Times, the Heritage Action Plan is now published in The Guardian for the first time.

Part of Heritage Action’s two-year strategy will initially focus on eight battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin, to form “model elections.” to promote what is called the law. At a closed-door meeting with donors in Tucson, Arizona, in 2021, the group’s executive director, Jessica Anderson, pressured the Republican-controlled Congress to impose tough restrictions on voting, including restrictions on mail-in ballots. He boasted about the role played by Heritage Action. and early voting day.

In a video of that meeting, obtained by Documented, Anderson told donors that the group acted “quickly and quietly,” boasting of their behind-the-scenes influence that “frankly no one noticed.” bottom. Heritage Action staff say he’s registered to lobby in at least 20 states.

A laser-like focus on key battleground states like Georgia seems to have had an impact. The New York Times found that one-third of the 68 ballot measures submitted in Georgia in 2021 contain policy measures and language closely aligned with the Heritage Action proposal.

The group publicly claims to have been involved in advancing 11 ballot measures in at least eight states in 2021, but in some cases the bills have only been passed by one legislature or been rejected by state governors. I was

The Heritage Foundation maintains the “Election Fraud Database” under the auspices of the Chief Election Officer, Hans von Spakowski. While it claims to expose errors, omissions and missteps by election officials, it presents incomplete and misleading information and highlights how fraud is extremely rare within the U.S. system.

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