New York, NY – Civil rights group ColorOfChange.org is launching a campaign calling for corporations to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has drafted and distributed model legislation that appears to be the inspiration for restrictive and discriminatory voter ID bills advanced in numerous state legislatures this year, bills that would require voters to produce specified types of photo identification at the polls.
Voter ID laws unreasonably increase barriers to voting access, with a disproportionate impact on black people and other people of color, young people, the elderly and the poor. The new laws will disenfranchise as many as 5 million Americans.1
Proponents of voter ID laws claim the goal is to reduce voter fraud – individuals voting fraudulently, or more than once. But all evidence shows that such fraud occurs only very rarely, and never in quantities large enough to sway an election.2
“Discriminatory voter ID laws like the ones promoted by ALEC are part of a longstanding right wing campaign of voter suppression against black people and other underrepresented groups,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "ALEC is supported by some of the largest corporate brands in America. Public-facing brands that every single day go to the black community and ask us for our dollars while they support ALEC, which is suppressing our vote."
“These companies should be motivated to make it easier – not harder – for their customers, employees, shareholders, and community members to vote,” Robinson said. "It's possible that leadership at some of these companies isn't aware of what ALEC is doing with their money. We're reaching out to them and asking them stop funding ALEC and to publicly announce that suppressing black people's votes is not part of their business strategy."
With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online political organization.
1. “Voting Law Changes in 2012,” Brennan Center for Justice, 10-03-11 http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/voting_law_changes_in_2012
2. “The Myth of Voter Fraud,” Washington Post, 03-29-07 http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/the_myth_of_voter_fraud/