Soros to Bankroll Lawsuits on Voter ID Laws

Hedgefund billionaire working with top Dem lawyers

George Soros is throwing his hefty financial weight behind a renewed effort to strip away voter ID laws by using the courts.

According The New York Times, Soros is looking to put at least $5 million towards legal challenges against laws that require voters to prove who they are before they cast a ballot.

Mr. Soros became involved last year when Marc Elias, one of the top Democratic lawyers specializing in voter protection issues, began exploring a series of federal suits in advance of the 2016 election, according to Mr. Soros’s political adviser, Michael Vachon.

Their goal is to try to influence voting rules in states where Republican governors and Republican-led legislatures have enacted new election laws since 2010, and to be ready to intervene when additional measures may be passed over the next 17 months.  

Suits have already been filed in Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina; other suits are expected to follow.

Voter ID laws have become an ongoing battle between Republicans and Democrats, with Republicans claiming that the laws are needed to protect against voter fraud, while Democrats claim forcing voters to show ID disenfranchises minority voters, particularly blacks.

While Democrats rail against the voter ID laws, several Democratic states -- including New York, Massachusetts and California -- require photo ID to buy tobacco. New York's regulations call for anyone that looks under 25 to show only acceptable ID and like North Carolina's voter ID law, student ID is not acceptable.

"This can be a valid driver's license or non-driver's ID issued by a state or other accepted government agency, a valid passport, or an ID issued by the armed forces of the United States, that indicates that the person is 18 or older. ID cards issued by colleges are no longer acceptable." (emphasis in the original)

So far Soros has not announced plans to challenge tobacco ID laws in court.