State Open Records and Voting Rights

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: American Oversight, Inc.
Amount: $200,000 in 2019 over two years

What is American Oversight?

A non-partisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog, American Oversight uses the Freedom of Information Act and public records laws to investigate government misconduct. Once documents have been uncovered and published, they work with the judicial system to end corruption and abuses of power within the government. 

Why do we think this project is important?

We believe that voting rights must be protected against voter suppression efforts. Greater transparency into how legislative and administrative election changes are made can deter attempts to disenfranchise voters. American Oversight enables greater transparency by requesting access to state government records and using the legal system to obtain documents when necessary. They make all of this information available to the public, shining a light on voter suppression attempts.

Through the course of their work, American Oversight has found that increased transparency can influence the actions of public officials who realize that their work and communications will be available for public scrutiny. This grant will support American Oversight’s current efforts to uncover paper trails behind concerted efforts to undermine the right to vote. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting American Oversight?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a two-year grant of $200,000 to American Oversight.