ALEC‘s membership roll is literally a who’s who of major corporations, state, and local officials. It mission is to “ provides a constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues”. ALEC assists in the creation of “model bills” that in some cases are the basis for the ones that are introduced during the state legislative sessions. In other words corporations are working with our elected officials to affect change. On the surface this may not sound like a bad idea, the problem is that ALEC is all about the conservative agenda. This agenda is not necessarily in our best interest.
According to the NAACP, these restrictions include:
- Laws passed in Florida and Texas restricting voter registration drives
- Limitations in Florida, Maine, Ohio, and Wisconsin on when and where people can register to vote
- Laws in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia that shorten the window for early voting
- Several states, including Florida and Mississippi, improperly purging voters from the registration rolls. (In Florida, a flawed purge program incorrectly flagged and purged 12,000 voters. More than 70 percent of those voters were African American or Latino.)
- New photo ID laws requiring government-issued voter identification that have passed in Texas, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Tennessee (21-million Americans don’t have photo ID, including 25 percent of African-Americans of voting age)
- Florida and Iowa reversing earlier decisions that made it easier for people with felony convictions to restore their voting rights. The decision affects hundreds of thousands of voters.
- At least 34 states introduced voter suppression legislation in 2011, with laws passing in 14 of those states and laws pending in eight.