Jason Kander is back – and on the front line fighting voter suppression
Kander, a former National Guard captain, ran a tight race against Missouri Senator Roy Blunt and came within three percent of unseating him. He got national attention and name recognition for a hard-hitting ad in which he assembled his long gun blindfolded. And you knew he would not remain silent:
He came back on the political scene Tuesday, confronting one of the United States’ most contentious issues: voting rights. He launched a national organization called Let America Vote, meant to fight efforts to suppress voting rights.
Without any evidence, President Donald Trump claimed in January that major voter fraud cost him three to five million votes. His hammering of the issue kept it in the national news cycle for weeks. But Kander has been speaking about voter suppression for much longer than that.
He opposed the Republican-controlled state legislature’s effort to enact stringent voter ID requirements last year. He also spoke about oppressive voter ID laws on his last day as secretary of state in January.
“You can protect the integrity of elections without stopping anyone from voting,” Kander said. “If you choose to follow the example of Wisconsin and North Carolina, I guess we’ll see you in court.”
It seems Kander was keeping his promise. Although the website was under construction, the landing page greeted visitors with the organization’s mission:
“Jason Kander started Let America Vote to fight back against proposals across the country that make it harder for eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot,” the site reads. “Whether it’s extreme identification requirements, questionable purges of voter rolls, voter intimidation, new and extreme voter registration processes, or anything that makes voting harder, Let America Vote will be there to lead the way against it.”
The group’s board of advisors included several high-profile Democrats, including former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau (along with three other former Obama staffers), Martin Luther King III and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. Let America Vote is a 527 organization, which means it is tax-exempt.
Voter suppression is largely seen as a strong factor in keeping Democrats out of office.
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