How George Soros is Helping Voting Rights in the United States

 

It is often surprising for average Americans to learn that their beloved democratic systems are not impervious to flaws and undue influence from certain interest groups. In the United States, the intersection of politics, special interests and the democratic process is not a pretty sight, and this is something that billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros is truly concerned with.

George Soros is one of the greatest minds in the world of finance. Born in Hungary, this American citizen made investment history in the 1990s as a foreign currency trader. Soros had a penchant for “trading cable,” which means that he closely followed the currency pair of the United States dollar and the British pound. On one occasion, he took a risky position against the British pound; this transaction would net him more than a billion dollars in just a few days.

Aside from being active in the worlds of foreign currency trading and hedge fund investing, Soros is also known for his philanthropy and political activism. He is a staunch believer in the concept of open society, whereby people enjoy certain civil freedoms that truly make up democracy. Soros believes that the rights of people should not only be mentioned; they should be respected and upheld at all times.

In 2004, Soros made history in American politics by donating millions for the purpose of mobilizing voters. While many analysts believed that such an effort was not necessary in a democratic republic such as the United States, Soros’ activism revealed that certain state jurisdictions have been involved in the suppression of fair voting access since the early 21st century. Through legislative and rulemaking efforts, voter protection has been decimated in jurisdictions traditionally considered to be political battleground states.

Through his own charity, the Open Society Foundations, Soros has been funding legal efforts to restore voting rights to the jurisdictions where certain groups, typically minorities, have been affected. As of mid-2015, Soros had not yet made a move towards funding Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; however, he had already donated more than $5 million to fund federal lawsuits that challenge certain laws ostensibly passed to combat voter fraud.

One example of what Soros is helping to overcome can be seen in North Carolina, where student ID cards cannot be used for voting. In the past, students could get their ID cards and register in advance so that they could vote when they turned 18 years old; alas, new state legislation did away with that. The case is pending, but Soros is hopeful that individual freedoms will prevail.

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