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Biden allies launch voting rights initiative

The group, Building Back Together, will focus first on a slew of battleground states, some of which have implemented restrictive voting laws.

WASHINGTON — An outside political group formed by allies of President Joe Biden is launching a voting rights initiative focused on strengthening pro-voter policies and protecting against suppression efforts.

The nonprofit Building Back Together announced the project Wednesday, saying in a release that the group “will work to counter proposed changes to those laws that impede access, particularly for voters of color and historically disadvantaged and densely populated communities.”

The group will focus first on a slew of battleground states, some of which have implemented laws that voting rights advocates say seek to prevent people from casting ballots. The states include Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, recently signed a highly restrictive voting measure into law that has prompted lawsuits and threats to boycott of businesses that haven’t voiced opposition to the legislation.

Bob Bauer, a senior adviser on Biden’s presidential campaign who designed the campaign’s voter protection program, will lead the initiative, which Politico first reported.

“A broad-based coalition is required to expose the serious and continuing disinformation about the 2020 election, and to defend against the use of that disinformation to advance wholly unjustified and all too often flatly illegal restrictions on access to the polls,” Bauer said.

Bauer added that after seeing former President Donald Trump “and his allies attempting to overturn the results of a national election, it is urgent that we ensure this attack on the democratic process is the last of its kind.”

This year, lawmakers in 47 state legislatures had introduced several hundred restrictive election bills by the end of March, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

At least 55 restrictive bills are advancing through 24 state legislatures, and 29 bills have passed at least one state legislative chamber, the center said.

Mike Memoli contributed.