Yesterday Jason Kander, former Army captain, Missouri Secretary of State and U.S Senate candidate announced his next move: forming Let America Vote, a non-profit dedicated to fighting against voter suppression.
This could be really cool. It might even be cooler than the time Kander assembled an AR-15 rifle blindfolded in a campaign ad. According to Let America Vote’s first statement, up until now the major fights against voter suppression have been in the courts. But Kander’s vision is to take that fight to the people, and use this organization as a way of changing public opinion when it comes to think like Voter ID laws.
Personally I’m torn. As a HeadCounter, I’m a firm believer that everyone should vote, and that voting should be as easy as possible. However when looking at the Board of Directors for Let America Vote, I see a list of Democratic Party heavy hitters. Folks like Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood, Obama’s old White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and a Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Does voter protection need to be partisan? Isn’t that what we want to avoid.
Surely Let America Vote will go after voter suppression efforts initiated by GOP-controlled state houses. But will they be as vigilant when it comes to voter suppression in blue states? My home state of New York has some insane laws and practices that suppress the vote in primaries and I’d love to see Let America Vote take on those policies. And let’s not forget that the giant voter purge in Brooklyn this year that’s still under investigation.
If Let America Vote had some Republican representation, they might be better served to attack these issues at their core and not just fall into the intractable partisanship that dominates everything right now.
I’m pumped that Kander started Let America Vote, but I’d be even more excited if this was a bipartisan push.