Nonprofit with ties to Biden 2020 campaign rolls out voting rights initiative


A nonprofit group with ties to President Biden’s 2020 campaign is rolling out a new voting rights initiative as Democrats ramp up efforts to combat tighter voting restrictions passed in several states.

The nonprofit, Building Back Together, is tapping Bob Bauer, an adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign and a White House counsel for former President Obama, to lead the effort.

The campaign will initially focus on Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, all of which have competitive statewide races next year. 

The initiative’s emphasis will be on advancing “pro-voter policies” and “improving access and defending against efforts to curtail voting rights throughout the country.” It will also advocate for passage of legislation in Congress that would expand the use of mail-in ballots, call for online and same-day voter registration and more.

“Protection of the right to vote is fundamental,” Bauer said in a statement. “A broad-based coalition is required to expose the serious and continuing disinformation about the 2020 election, and to defend against the use of that disinformation to advance wholly unjustified and all too often flatly illegal restrictions on access to the polls.”

Bauer will also be joined by Rubén Lebrón, Building Back Together’s incoming voting rights director.

The nonprofit said it plans on bringing together progressive organizations on “coordinated campaigns,” investing in “innovative digital strategies and partnerships” and working on advertising campaigns. Information on the cost of these efforts was not immediately available. 

“Under the seasoned and passionate leadership of Bob Bauer, our Voting Rights Initiative will be informed by a primary architect of voter and election protection work for the past two decades,” said Building Back Together Executive Director Danielle Melfi.

The effort comes as Republican states across the country advance legislation to tighten voting restrictions. 

Democrats and private companies expressed outrage over a new Georgia law that imposes several new restrictions on mail-in voting and polling locations. In addition, several other states, including Florida and Texas, are in the process of advancing their own bills that institute new requirements for absentee voting. 

Republicans have defended their efforts as necessary to help secure elections. Democrats have widely panned the legislation as voter suppression. 

Democrats in the House last month passed the For The People Act, better known as H.R. 1, that would require states to offer mail-in ballots and a minimum of 15 days of early voting and calls for online and same-day voter registration, among other things.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he hopes to bring the legislation up for a vote in August, though the bill faces an uphill climb to overcome the chamber’s 60-vote threshold for passage.

Tags Absentee ballot Bob Bauer Chuck Schumer Early voting For the People Act Joe Biden Republican efforts to restrict voting following the 2020 presidential election Voter registration Voter suppression

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