Voter registration charities: A massive, overlooked scandal
By Parker Thayer
Real Clear Wire
“Nonprofit voter registration” doesn’t sound interesting. Yet, nonprofit voter registration, or the use of tax-exempt charitable organizations to conduct and fund voter registration drives, is one of the most important and underreported political scandals of our time.
Nonprofit voter registration, and the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities that usually accompany it, have become the heart of a billion-dollar industry in America. According to Candid’s Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy database, since 2011 nearly 60,000 grants have been made for “Voter Education, Registration, and Turnout” and “Civic Participation,” benefitting 15,000 different organizations to the tune of $5.9 billion.
Most of the largest grantors and grantees in this industry are left-leaning. Despite IRS rules prohibiting 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit groups from engaging in partisan electioneering, it has long been an open secret that the purpose of their work is to register voters from favorable demographics in order to help get Democrats elected. The voter registration industry has always retreated behind the fig-leaf of “nonpartisanship” when necessary, which has protected it from serious scrutiny..
Until now, that is. My recent special report, "How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections," ripped away that fig-leaf. The report reveals the untold story of a nondescript charity named the “Voter Registration Project” that was used to funnel over $100 million into a five-year voter registration scheme hatched by Clinton campaign operatives to help Democrats win elections in 2020. Using tax forms, leaked documents, and leaked emails, the report shows how the scheme aimed to register over 5 million “non-white” voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, and Nevada; how it was developed through multiple drafts and edits into a highly sophisticated plan dubbed the Everybody Votes Campaign; and how that plan was eventually adopted by a super PAC tied to Sam Bankman-Fried that instructed billionaire donors to keep it completely secret since it was the most “cost-effective” method for “netting additional Democratic votes.”
The report even shows several of the plan’s major donors admitting, in signed tax forms, that their “charitable” grants to the Voter Registration Project were made for the express purpose of supporting the super PAC that had recommended it to them. It was the largest, most organized, and most blatantly partisan nonprofit voter registration drive in American history. By our estimates it generated between 1 and 2.7 million swing-state votes for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Americans are expected to believe the excuse, given on the Everybody Votes Campaign’s new website, that their left-wing donors are merely “committed to creating a more representative democracy by building and supporting large-scale, long-term voter registration in communities of color.” Their website notably boasts that 76% of the 5.1 million voters they have registered were people of color, but then curiously declines to mention which states said people of color were from. A recent job listing from the organization shows that their targets states for 2024 will be Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
That’s right, the donors and directors of the Everybody Votes Campaign care deeply about the civic participation of “communities of color.” So deeply, in fact, that they have been, and will be, registering millions of minority voters, but only in the most important presidential swing states. No room for California and New York (two of America’s most populous states) nor Mississippi and Louisiana (which have the highest Black population by percentage).
It should be obvious to anyone who looks a little deeper than the mission statement that “Everybody Votes” is more than a little bit of a misnomer.