Updated on March 22, 2021 to include information about an ALEC Election Roundtable discussion that occurred during the ALEC 2020 Annual Meeting.
Numerous Republican legislators, election commissioners and right-wing attorneys participated in a secretive “process working group,” organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has focused on election and redistricting issues, according to details obtained by Documented. ALEC does not publicly list the meeting on its formal agenda or mention the working group on its website. Documented first reported on the working group earlier this year.
The session is taking place during ALEC’s virtual States and Nation Policy Summit (SNPS) this week from December 2-4. Documented obtained a list of attendees participating in the summit along with a list of sponsors, which include Coca-Cola Consolidated, PhRMA and weapons manufacturer Raytheon Technologies.
The working group previously held an Election Roundtable during their 2020 Annual Meeting. According to email correspondence obtained by Documented, the discussion featured presentations from election attorneys Cleta Mitchell, Hans von Spakovsky, and J. Christian Adams, American Constitutional Rights Union President Ken Blackwell, Honest Elections Project Executive Director Jason Snead and others.
The most recent working group, which took place on Wednesday December 2, held a meeting as efforts by the Trump campaign and right-wing organizations are still underway to question the results of the 2020 Election–even after U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr declared there was no widespread election voter fraud.
Commissioners of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Christy McCormick, Don Palmer, and special counsel to the commissioners, Tyler Herrmann, were among the participants. McMormick and Palmer are both Republicans and have frequently participated in groups which have criticized vote-by-mail and have hyped unfounded voter fraud claims.
McMormick and Palmer have spoken to the True the Vote, a group that organizes volunteers including veterans and first responders as poll watchers, where they warned of voter fraud prior to the election due to “dirty” registration rolls and absentee ballots. McMormick has also spoken with the religious right group Intercessors for America, which partnered with True the Vote on a joint endeavor called “Pray the Vote”, which “guides Americans to unite in prayer for the election.” Palmer participated in the “Election Protection Summit” hosted by FreedomWorks prior to the 2020 election, which organized state partners around claims of expected “widespread voter fraud.”
Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams, who were members of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity until it disbanded in early 2018, were also among the participants. Prior to the election, ProPublica revealed von Spakovsky, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, held multiple private briefings for Republican secretaries of state. Adams is the President and General Counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group involved in numerous lawsuits to purge voters from election rolls. Adams is also a member of the influential Council for National Policy (CNP), a network of conservative think tanks, right-wing religious extremists, Republican operatives, elected officials and wealthy Republican donors.
Documented has released a large archive of CNP materials, including dozens of recordings from meetings, membership rosters and meeting agendas. Among the recordings includes a February 2020 CNP strategy session on elections where CNP member and ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson said ALEC had been working with three Republican attorneys on “action items that legislators can take to question the validity of an election.” Nelson said von Spakvosky was one of the attorneys they had been working with. Trent England, director of Save our States, which describes itself as “defending the electoral college”, also participated in the CNP strategy session and is among the list of registered attendees for the ALEC process working group.
Twenty-two Republican legislators registered for the meeting. Since the results of the 2020 Presidential Election showed a clear victory for President-Elect Joe Biden, state legislatures controlled by Republicans in battleground states have taken center stage. Right-wing organizations and the Trump campaign have looked to these legislatures as one avenue to delay certification of the voting results, which heavily favor Biden, peddling false claims of voter fraud. These attempts have failed in multiple states.
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt who co-chaired Trump’s re-election campaign in Nevada, Executive Director of the GOP redistricting group Fair Lines Adam Kincaid, former Virginia election official Clara Wheeler who is listed as the co-chair the Virginia “Election Integrity Work Group” were also among the registered participants.
The full list of registered attendees of the working group can be found below: