Democratic super PAC announces $15 million campaign to fight voter suppression
Leading progressive super PAC Priorities USA announced a $15 million campaign on Monday to combat voter suppression in battleground states.
Driving the news: The group says the investment is a bid to counter policies that unfairly disenfranchise people of color, especially Black and Latino voters, after GOP-run state legislatures introduced more than 100 bills to restrict voting access following the 2020 election.
- With federal voting rights legislation stalling in Congress, dozens of states have enacted laws making it more difficult for people to vote in the last two years.
Details: $10 million will go toward voter protection litigation ahead of the midterms. The organization is currently pursuing voting rights cases in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan and New Hampshire.
- In Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, for example, Priorities is backing legal intervention against an effort to restrict access to drop boxes, while in Arizona it's challenging a law that could criminalize volunteers or organizations who provide voting assistance to individuals registered to vote in another state.
$5 million will go toward a digital ad campaign that will aim to connect voters with the resources they need to cast a ballot. 15-second ads and banner ads will direct voters to websites and hotlines that can provide information on nearby polling places and offer "know your rights" guidance.
- The ads, which will run in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada across digital platforms such as Google and Facebook, will target Black, Latino, young and low-income voters.
What they're saying: "We know that Black and Brown people, young people, the elderly and people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by voter suppression, and our work specifically centers these communities when we are crafting a litigation strategy," Priorities USA deputy executive Aneesa McMillan said in a statement.
- "[R]ight-wing forces have consistently targeted Black and Brown voters in their efforts to limit voting rights. ... By taking a multi-pronged approach to combating GOP-driven voter suppression, our digital-first program can effectively educate voters about their rights and ensure that they have their voices heard at the ballot box."
The big picture: Voter turnout across every racial and ethnic group rose in 2020 — but the 2022 midterm elections will present new hurdles for activists trying to prevent a sharp drop-off among voters of color, Axios' Alexi McCammond and Stef Kight report.
- Election misinformation also remains a critical concern after tech companies failed to stem the deluge of disinformation aimed at delegitimizing the election process in 2020.