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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
CNS Censors Partisan Agenda of Right-Wing 'Honest Elections' Group

A group called the Honest Elections Project has gotten significant promotion at of late:

  • A March 24 column by Tim Graham of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center noted that "A recent survey by the Honest Elections Project, for example, found that 77% of respondents believe voters should be required to show a photo ID when they vote." (Graham also cited poll findings from McLaughlin & Associates but didn't tell readers it worked for Donald Trump.)
  • An April 5 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman stated; "As President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress push for passage of HR 1, a massive election reform bill that Republicans largely oppose because they see it as a way to allow voter fraud and entrench Democratic rule nationwide, the Honest Elections Project  reports that only 28% of Americans support the legislation, and that contrary to the bill, 77% of Americans want voter ID."
  • An April 9 article by Craig Bannister repeated other poll findings: "Nearly three-fourths of U.S. states have some form of voter identification requirement that would be abolished, if Democrats’ “For the People Act” (H.R. 1) bill becomes law, a new study by the Honest Elections Project (HEP) warns. ... In conclusion, the report warns that H.R. 1 would 'permanently reshape elections in ways that weaken voting safeguards, put public trust in elections at risk, and ignore the desires of mainstream voters.'"
  • An April 19 column by the Heritage Foundation's Mike Powell claimed: "Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, said, 'Overall, the Georgia law is pretty much in the mainstream and is not regressive or restrictive. The availability of absentee ballots and early voting is a lot more progressive than what’s in the blue states.'"
  • Chapman returned to tout the group in a May 6 article on changes to Florida election laws: "Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, said of the new law, 'Every Floridian can request a mail-in ballot, vote early, or cast a ballot on Election Day. Anyone who reads this new law will see that it keeps voting easy, and makes cheating harder.'"

Interestingly, none of these articles explain what, exactly, the Honest Elections Project is. That's because it's a partisan right-wing, dark money-driven activist group. The Associated Press explains:

The Honest Elections Project was created in early 2020 to advocate for greater controls on elections. The group has drawn scrutiny in part because of Leo’s influence in conservative legal circles. As co-chairman of the Federalist Society, Leo helped spearhead the effort to appoint conservative judges to the federal courts.

The group does not disclose its donors and there will be no public reporting of how it spends its money until later this year, at the earliest.

Last year, Honest Elections was part of the GOP legal strategy to fight voting changes, many of which were aimed at making voting easier during the pandemic. It sued Michigan, forcing the state to clean up its list of registered voters, and blocked a settlement easing absentee voting rules in Minnesota.

The Guardian further reported that the group is a "backed by a dark money group funded by rightwing stalwarts like the Koch brothers and Betsy DeVos’ family" and denies that voter suppression exists -- a key claim of right-wing election activists. The group is actually "a legal alias for the Judicial Education Project, a well-financed nonprofit connected to a powerful network of dark money conservative groups," the Guardian reported.

Strange that a group calling for "honest elections" has no interest in being honest about itself. It's less strange, unfortunately, that CNS is censoring the partisan nature of the group in order to push for more restrictive voting regulations that right-wingers love.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT

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