In a private meeting last month with big-money donors, the head of a top conservative group boasted that her outfit had crafted the new voter suppression law in Georgia and was doing the same with similar bills for Republican state legislators across the country. “In some cases, we actually draft them for them,” she said, “or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.”

The Georgia law had “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended,” Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, told the foundation’s donors at an April 22 gathering in Tucson, in a recording obtained by the watchdog group Documented and shared with Mother Jones. Those included policies severely restricting mail ballot drop boxes, preventing election officials from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters, making it easier for partisan workers to monitor the polls, preventing the collection of mail ballots, and restricting the ability of counties to accept donations from nonprofit groups seeking to aid in election administration.

All of these recommendations came straight from Heritage’s list of “best practices” drafted in February. With Heritage’s help, Anderson said, Georgia became “the example for the rest of the country.”

The leaked video reveals the extent to which Heritage is leading a massive campaign to draft and pass model legislation restricting voting access, which has been swiftly adopted this year in the battleground states of Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and Iowa. It’s no coincidence that so many GOP-controlled states are rushing to pass similar pieces of legislation in such a short period of time.

Mother Jones Senior Reporter Ari Berman breaks down the video here. And for the full investigation, co-bylined by Documented's Nick Surgey, head to Leaked Video: Dark Money Group Brags About Writing GOP Voter Suppression Bills Across the Country – Mother Jones.

A conservative group told donors it's secretly helping Republican state legislatures draft bills to restrict voting, including in Georgia and Texas, leaked video shows
  • GOP-led legislatures are passing voting and election reform laws in states across the country.
  • In a leaked video, a conservative group told donors it's quietly helping lawmakers draft the bills.
  • Many of the bills have been fueled by unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the 2020 election.
A conservative group told its top donors that it has been quietly working to help state legislatures pass voting laws that will "right the wrongs of November," according to a leaked video.

Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, said during a private meeting in Arizona last month that the group has even drafted some of the legislation that's been signed into law.

"We're working with these state legislatures to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills. In some cases, we actually draft them for them," she said in the video, which was obtained by the watchdog group Documented and published by Mother Jones on Thursday.

Republican-controlled legislatures nationwide are seeking to pass voting rights reform, largely fueled by the false and unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter and election fraud in the 2020 election. GOP lawmakers say the bills are about election integrity and restoring trust, while Democrats say they are restrictive and give credence to baseless claims of fraud.

... The Associated Press reported it was known that Heritage Action, which is a sister organization of the influential conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, was working with lawmakers, but that "it is rare to hear a leader detail how a group masks involvement to give the bills the appearance of broad political support."

... Anderson, who also worked in the Trump administration, has pushed unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the past. On Fox News in December, in reference to Georgians newly registering for the runoff election, she said "this is exactly the type of fraud that we have been raising the red flag for months now," without citing any evidence of fraud. She added "we know that the fraud is real."

The group, along with former president Donald Trump's campaign and the US Justice Department, have been unable to find evidence of widespread fraud.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/conservative-group-says-its-quietly-drafting-gop-backed-voting-bills-2021-5

Mother Jones obtained leaked video in which an executive of a conservative group appears to brag about helping write voter restriction bills to give them a grassroots "vibe."