Dark money group spent $ 100 million on voter turnout in 2020

An organization dedicated to youth voter participation and people of color spent more than $ 100 million delivering mail and digital notices to voters in 2020, delivering hundreds of thousands of votes from those they would likely support. President BidenJoe BidenBiden will speak on the economy on Tuesday, with the Fed election looming, the NAACP chair calling Rittenhouse’s verdict ‘a warning shot that vigilante justice is allowed’ Optimistic Democrats as the bill from social spending goes to the Senate MORE last year.

The Voter Engagement Center, a Washington-based nonpartisan group, raised $ 85 million and spent even more through 2020, according to tax returns reviewed by The Hill. That money is orders of magnitude greater than the $ 14 million it spent during the last presidential election, in 2016.

“At a time when in-person contact with voters was put aside for health and safety reasons, the Voter Engagement Center really stood up and did the work necessary to help register voters, to help the voters to learn about and register to vote by mail, and educate voters about early voting in person, voting by mail and how to vote safely on Election Day, ”said Tom Lopach, executive director of the group.

Although the group does not advocate for specific candidates, it targets what Lopach calls the new American majority: younger voters, minorities and single women – all blocs of voters overwhelmingly favoring Democrats. Together, those voters make up 60 percent of those who are eligible to vote, although they all turn out at lower-than-average rates.

Lopach is the former executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and the senator’s former chief of staff. Jon testerJonathan (Jon) TesterBiden will speak on the economy on Tuesday, with Fed election looming Optimistic Democrats as social spending bill heads to Senate shows Sunday – Spotlight switches to Senate for spending plan Biden MORE (D-Mont.) And ex-governor of Montana. Steve bullockSteve Bullock In Montana, a single-line redistricting fight of 65 former governors, mayors endorse bipartisan infrastructure agreement Governors of Arkansas and New Jersey to lead National Governors Association MORE (D).

In an interview, Lopach said the group had delivered 371 million pieces of mail during the 2020 election cycle, urging voters to register to vote by mail or to vote early. They delivered another 300 million digital messages, through advertising and email.

“The electoral participation work in 2020 was very clear due to the pandemic. 2021 presented a series of challenges and efforts to deprive voters of the new American majority and our intention is to continue the smart and comprehensive voter registration and digital participation efforts, by broad mail, ”said Lopach.

Lopach said the group had helped 1.6 million people register to vote and another 4.5 million people requested ballots by mail. He estimated that 272,000 people who otherwise would not have voted because of the group’s work had voted.

Those ballots may have been enough to hand over key states to Biden, who won swing states like Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia by just a few tens of thousands of votes.

Roughly 100 million Americans voted in early 2020, far more than any previous election in history. More of those early voters backed Biden than ex President TrumpDonald Trump Two Fox News Contributors Resigned Over Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 Documentary Republican Senator: Decisions On Bills That Went Made Based On Whether They Hurt Or Help Trump Or Biden O’Rourke Will Not Say If He Wants Biden campaign for him in the Texas Senate race MORE, which spent months questioning early voting and absentee voting, much to the chagrin of its own strategists. TO Pew Research Center survey conducted last November found that 58 percent of Biden voters cast their ballot early, compared with just under a third of Trump voters.

Some Democratic strategists credited the Voter Engagement Center with introducing the voters who put Biden in the White House.

“The 2020 outlook presented enormous challenges for Democrats and progressives, without the usual advantage of organizing in person,” said Tom Bonier, who runs TargetSmart, a Democratic analytics firm. The Voter Participation Center “played a key role in expanding the electorate, resulting in record turnout, generally through innovative voter registration and participation programs.”

The group is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, which means you do not have to list the sources of your income. Lopach declined to name the donors or organizations that funded his work.

“We have been fortunate to have strong support from foundations, organizations that believe in voter participation and individuals, but we do not disclose our donors,” he said.

The Voter Engagement Center is one of a constellation of dark money organizations that fund election-related projects without having to reveal the source of their funding. Hundreds of millions of black dollars flowed into the 2020 election, benefiting and targeting both Biden and Trump, as well as virtually every prominent candidate running for Senate and House seats.

Much of that money isn’t even publicly identified until months or years after an election, because those groups don’t have to report to the Federal Elections Commission. Instead, it is only clear that the groups exist or have spent the money on filings with the IRS.

the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks dark money in politics, has identified more than $ 30 million spent in last year’s presidential race, an amount that does not include the Voter Engagement Center or other groups that have not yet filed with the IRS.


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