Voting Rights and the Koch Brothers


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Equal access to the ballot box is an integral part of equity and justice, as well as a human right. Renewed attacks from the right wing and billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers, are attempting to erect new barriers to voting and fortify old ones. The Koch Brothers–and other wealthy conservatives who share their political interests–intentionally work to suppress voting rights in order to elect politicians and foster policies that favor their financial interests.

Koch has financially supported several organizations that played key roles in recent voter suppression initiatives, including: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Project on Fair Representation (PFR), and Donors Trust.


  • Since 2005, Charles Koch has donated $5.2 million to Donors Trust1, a 501(c)(3) public “charity” dedicated to financially supporting economic freedom, which in turn gives money to ALEC and PFR. Donors Trust’s  Executive Director, Whitney Ball, was formerly fundraising director at the Cato Institute, which was founded in Koch’s hometown of Wichita and was originally called the Koch Institute.2
  • ALEC drafted mock legislation used by many states to pass discriminatory Voter ID laws.3 ALEC has also drafted recommendations to offshore U.S. jobs, threaten environmental protections, lower minimum wage, and promote “stand-your-ground” gun laws.4 They receive substantial financial support from the Koch Brothers in the form of donations from various Koch-run foundations, as well as undisclosed membership dues from Koch Industries.5
  • PFR was the main legal team that worked to overturn section 4 of the Voting Rights Act in the supreme court case, Shelby County v. Holder, a ruling which subsequently made ALEC-inspired Voter ID laws constitutional.6 PFR’s director and founder, Edward Blum, is a conservative legal entrepreneur, who brings plaintiffs together with powerhouse lawyers to challenge laws antithetical to the conservative agenda. Donors Trust pays the legal fees for these cases.7


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Activist Groups committed to the restoration of Voting Rights:

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