Mother Jones reports on a leaked video from a dark money conservative group in which a leader boasts about its role in writing vote suppression legislation in Georgia and other states.

In a private meeting last month with big-money donors, the head of a top conservative group boasted that her outfit had crafted the new voter suppression law in Georgia and was doing the same with similar bills for Republican state legislators across the country. “In some cases, we actually draft them for them,” she said, “or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.”

The Georgia law had “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended,” Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, told the foundation’s donors at an April 22 gathering in Tucson, in a recording obtained by the watchdog group Documented and shared with Mother Jones. Those included policies severely restricting mail ballot drop boxes, preventing election officials from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters, making it easier for partisan workers to monitor the polls, preventing the collection of mail ballots, and restricting the ability of counties to accept donations from nonprofit groups seeking to aid in election administration.

All of these recommendations came straight from Heritage’s list of “best practices” drafted in February. With Heritage’s help, Anderson said, Georgia became “the example for the rest of the country.”

Most if not all of the legislation outlined in Georgia (except Arkansas has no drop boxes and Arkansas Republicans make clear they’d never allow them) passed expeditiously through the Republican-controlled Arkansas legislature. Arkansas is no swing state, it’s true. But Republicans figure you can’t be too careful. They’ve implemented partisan control, root and branch, of the election system in Arkansas and made it much harder for people on the margins to vote.


In Arkansas, too, sponsors touted election “integrity” as the reason for the suppression legislation, despite the absence of any evidence of fraud in Arkansas. (The election results certainly don’t reflect it.) Says Mother Jones:

Republican legislators claim they’re tightening up election procedures to address (unfounded) concerns about fraud in the 2020 election. But what’s really behind this effort is a group of conservative Washington insiders who have been pushing these same kinds of voting restrictions for decades, with the explicit aim of helping Republicans win elections. The difference now is that Trump’s baseless claims about 2020 have given them the ammunition to get the bills passed, and the conservative movement, led by Heritage, is making an unprecedented investment to get them over the finish line.

Auf wiedersehen Democracy.