The “Secretary of State Project“ was an American non-profit, progressive 527 political action committee focused on electing reform-minded progressive Secretaries of State in battleground states, who typically oversee the election process. The Project was funded by George Soros and members of the Democracy Alliance.
In 2008, Democrat House Organ Politico ran a story about the Obama campaign, calling the Secretaries of State the “Democrat firewall.”
In anticipation of a photo-finish presidential election, Democrats have built an administrative firewall designed to protect their electoral interests in five of the most important battleground states.
The bulwark consists of control of secretary of state offices in five key states — Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio — where the difference between victory and defeat in the 2004 presidential election was no more than 120,000 votes in any one of them.
With a Democrat now in charge of the offices, which oversee and administer their state’s elections, the party is better positioned than in the previous elections to advance traditional Democratic interests —such as increasing voter registration and boosting turnout — rather than Republican priorities such as stamping out voter fraud.
Perhaps more important, in those five states Democrats are now in a more advantageous position when it comes to the interpretation and administration of election law — a development that could benefit Barack Obama if any of those states are closely contested on Election Day.
The effort began in 2006 when a group of liberal California activists created an independent 527 group designed to elect secretaries of state.
The Secretary of State Project ran independent ads of its own and ensured that donors — many of whom were affiliated with Democracy Alliance, a network of wealthy fundraisers that channels money to liberal causes across the country — knew which candidates deserved donations.
Members of the Democracy Alliance are required to contribute at least $200,000 a year to groups the Democracy Alliance vets and recommends. As of 2014, the Alliance had helped distribute approximately $500 million to liberal organizations since its founding in 2005. Members of the Democracy Alliance include billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer. In 2017 and 2018 alone, Democracy Alliance Members spent $600 million on various liberal causes.
The President of Democracy Alliance is Gene LeMarche, a long-time Soros friend.
Before joining Atlantic in 2007, he served as Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Foundations (OSF), launching the organization’s pivotal work on challenges to social justice and democracy in the United States.
Here is a link to the Board of Democracy Alliance, the Chairman of which, John Stocks, is a Senior Advisor to the NEA — the nation’s largest union representing 3 million teachers.
The Secretary of State Project is said in some places to have folded, but the goal and efforts of groups like the Democracy Alliance went on unabated. Note that an early success of the Project was getting liberal Democrat Mark Ritchie elected as Minnesota Secretary of State in 2006. Ritchie then used his authority as Secretary of State to keep the vote count open in the razor-close contest between Norm Coleman and Al Franken in 2008. On November 14, 2008, two weeks after the election, with all the votes counted Coleman looked to be the winner by 215 votes. A mandatory hand-recount of all ballots then took place, and with a willing Ritchie overseeing the effort, canvassing boards in liberal Minnesota decided that nearly 1000 absentee ballots had been wrongly rejected as part of the initial vote count, and when those ballots were included, Al Franken, and not Norm Coleman, was certified as the winner by Ritchie.
So let’s pause to consider the two individuals who are the Secretaries of State in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The Michigan Secretary of State is Jocelyn Benson, a 43-year-old Harvard educated attorney. Noteworthy is a professional life of liberal and progressive activism on voting rights issues.
Before going to law school, Benson earned a Master’s at Magdalen College, Oxford, in the United Kingdom, conducting research into the sociological implications of white supremacy and neo-Nazism. Upon returning to the US, she lived and worked in Montgomery, Alabama, where she worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center as an investigative journalist, researching white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. She also worked as a summer associate for voting rights and election law for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
At Harvard Law School she was editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. From 2002–2004, she served as the Voting Rights Policy Coordinator of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, a non-profit organization that sought to link academic research to civil rights advocacy efforts.
When elected in 2018, she became the first Democrat to occupy the Secretary of State’s Office in Michigan since 1994.
It was in Detroit where election observers were kept at a distance, and their ability to watch the vote counting was obscured by paper placed in windows.
— Eric Gibbs (@ericjgibbs) November 4, 2020
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State is Katherine Bookvar — also elected in 2018.
The press wants Pres. Trump to put his trust in a “free and fair” election in Philadelphia in the hands of a woman who said the following about him only 6 weeks after he took office in 2017.
Using the title 'President' before the word 'Trump' really demeans the office of the presidency…
— Kathy Boockvar (@KathyBoockvar) March 7, 2017
I’m guessing there was a bottle of champagne in her office last night waiting for the “counting” in Philadelphia to finally get to the number needed.
From 2008 to 2011, Boockvar worked for Advancement Project, a non-profit organization focused on voting rights in Pennsylvania. During her tenure, she worked on voter rights education campaigns across the state. In March 2018, Boockvar was named Senior Adviser to the Governor on Election Modernization in the Pennsylvania Department of State by Governor Tom Wolf. She was appointed Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth on January 5, 2019, and confirmed by the Senate on November 19, 2019. In August 2019, she was named co-chair of the Elections Committee of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Just like with Benson, Boockvar’s professional life has not been directed at “free and fair” elections, but rather elections that draw in the absolute maximum number of votes whether valid or not.
This is the playbook now for how Democrat political machines will generate vote totals. The political leadership has no interest in respecting the legitimate right to vote, and they have no problem with validly cast votes being canceled out by invalidly cast votes.
Standardization and transparency of election practices across all 50 states and the political subdivisions within each state make vote manipulation more difficult. You will not see any call for such legislation coming from any Democrat politician over the next four years in the lead-up to 2024.