Dēmos is yet another progressive tax-exempt activist group whose central focus is getting-out-the-vote for the Democratic machine. However, Dēmos also wants GOTV to be federalized. The organization, with ties to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has been behind some of the most progressive governmental policies to date. Those policies include the Green New Deal and efforts to pack the court, with exhibit A being its Jan. 12, 2021 letter applauding Biden for his push for “structural reform of the Supreme Court.”
But state-by-state battles alone can’t win this war. We said it in 2019 and we’ll say it again: we need bold, transformative change. We need Congress to restore the #VotingRightsAct. 3/3 https://t.co/FDjQOe4AD4
— Demos (@Demos_Org) June 26, 2022
Democratic reform (elections) and economic justice are the two issues to which the organization devotes its time and treasure. Dēmos makes no bones about the fact that the Inclusive Democracy Agenda (IDP) drives much of its grassroots activity. “[T]he collective vision of Dēmos” is to promote IDP, which is “a majority-person of color, peer-to-peer learning cohort of state and local leaders who organize working-class communities and communities of color to advance bold democracy campaigns across the U.S.” At the center of this agenda is the belief that the universal right to vote should be automated and directed at the federal level. The pesky strain of registering to vote, they say, prevents access to elections.
“Yet the confusing, sometimes onerous process of registering to vote keeps too many people from voting, election after election. Through universal registration, all eligible people would be automatically registered to vote in advance of elections, and additional safeguards would allow for on-site registration for those who find they aren’t registered when they show up at the polls.”
The organization sings the praises of Biden’s May 7 Executive Order promoting access to voting. In fact, on the eve of the May 7 order, Dēmos published a blog entry with a subtitle ominously stating, “We must not underestimate the progress and yet-untapped potential of this executive order.” The blog hones in on Biden’s “order to federal agencies to do what they can to promote access to voter registration,” further characterizing it as a “mandate.” Another Dēmos blog referencing the same EO shows just how explicit this organization is about using federal agencies to register voters.
“Our work, they say, ensure[s] state agencies fulfill their National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) responsibilities.” They brag of having registered “more than three million voters applying to register at state agencies across approximately two dozen states.” The NVRA, says Dēmos, “specifically names federal agencies as potential designees, and requires these federal agencies to “cooperate with the States to the greatest extent practicable.”
Given what we know about the persistent activity behind the vast web of progressive GOTV, “democracy-minded” organizations, the order may be just one more notch in the progress of a clandestine operation to federalize elections in as many ways as are plausibly legal.
The Biden administration has been a godsend for Dēmos. “As soon as Biden was elected,” the Dēmos blog states, “Dēmos began pressing the incoming Administration to use executive action to build a more inclusive multiracial democracy, and our top recommendation was to direct federal agencies to provide voter registration services.” They even link a little primer featuring a nifty slide deck on how to implement a “robust” federal agency voter registration effort.
Mollie Hemingway writes about the very topic of the “federal takeover of election administration” in her sobering June 23 column for The Federalist. She recounts the efforts of countless organizations to file requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in an attempt to expose Biden’s plans.
“All signs indicate a concerted effort to keep the public in the dark until at least after the November midterm elections,” writes Hemingway. “The lack of transparency and responsiveness is so bad that the Department of Justice and some of its agencies have been repeatedly sued for the information.”
Hemingway rightly states that “mobilizing voters is always a political act.” The federal government should have no role in the administration of elections. There is a reason the states all operate differently during elections. According to Hemingway, Biden put “former Dēmos President K. Sabeel Rahman and former Dēmos Legal Strategies Director Chiraag Bains in key White House posts to oversee election-related initiatives.” Hemingway continues:
“It’s unconstitutional to have the federal government take authority that belongs to the states and which Congress has not granted. And, given that all 50 states have different laws and processes governing election administration, it’s a recipe for chaos, confusion, and fraud at a time when election security concerns are particularly fraught.”
Organizations like Dēmos target certain populations with specific profiles in their GOTV efforts. They don’t even try to hide their bias. But it is the “unethical ties” to federal grants and monies to benefit election activity that is most concerning. The partisan activity associated with nonprofits like Dēmos, The Democracy Fund, and others is expressly prohibited. Yet, we continue to see nonprofit after nonprofit on the Left abusing the rules and the law.
These organizations say they are inclusive but are nothing of the sort. Their voter registration drives target certain classes of people and they use public-private funding to accomplish their mission. Using federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture or Housing and Urban Development to run voter registration activities stretches credulity. These nonprofits are trying to gaslight us into believing they are inclusively “protecting the democratic process.” No, these are election and voter influence operations plain and simple.
This column continues UncoverDC’s reporting on progressive nonprofits masquerading as nonpartisan voter registration organizations.ē