Equal Citizens



Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2018):

Revenue: $600,927
Expenses: $274,881
Assets: $326,046




Charitable Organization


Lawrence “Larry” Lessig


Charles Kolb

Robert Reich

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Equal Citizens is a left-of-center organization that seeks to institute major changes in how American political institutions are organized, primarily through initiatives that seek to weaken voting integrity laws, curtail campaign-related speech, and undermine the traditional role that the Electoral College has played in political representation. 1 Equal Citizens primarily advances its goal through litigation and advocacy. 2

The group is led by Lawrence Lessig, an academic and former Democratic candidate for President of the United States who is a prominent activist for left-of-center policy including restrictions on campaign-related speech through a number of vehicles including Mayday America and Patriotic Millionaires.


In 2018, Equal Citizens received $600,912 in grants, spent $274,881 on functional expenses, while maintaining cash assets in the amount of $326,046. 3


 Equal Votes

Project “Equal Votes” is a series of complaints filed across multiple United States District Courts. The purpose of the complaints is to undermine state laws which institute “winter take all” rules for allocating votes in the Electoral College. 4 Under winner-take-all rules, the candidate that receives the most votes in a given state receives all of the electoral votes that state casts. If successful, the litigation would limit how states choose to award their electoral votes. 5

As of 2018, Equal Citizens has introduced litigation to overrule state electoral vote allocation mechanisms in California, Texas, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. 6

 End Super PACs

This litigation campaign is designed to undermine the Supreme Court holding in Citizens United v. FEC by restricting the amount Americans can contribute to independent organizations that seek to support candidates seeking political office.

While many states have overruled state laws limiting political contributions in light of Citizens United’s determination that such laws violate freedom of speech, Alaska still maintains its $500 individual contribution limitation. The restriction has been left in place because the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the body in charge of enforcing Alaska’s campaign finance laws, has interpreted the limitation to be illegal in light of Citizens United and refuses to enforce the law. 7

On February 28, 2018, Equal Citizens failed to convince APOC that it should enforce the Alaskan campaign finance limitation; APOC’s determination that is should not enforce the contribution limitations is currently being appealed by Equal Citizens in Alaskan Superior Court. 8

Electors Freedom

Equal Foundation’s “Electoral Freedom” campaign is an effort to curtail the power of states to punish so-called “faithless electors,” individuals pledged to vote in the Electoral College for a candidate who chose to vote for a different candidate. 9 Equal Foundation claims that these state laws violate the Constitution because they prevent Presidential Electors from voting their consciences. 10

The Electors Freedom Project’s political arm, Electors Trust, was used heavily in 2016 by Equal Citizens’ founder, Lawrence “Larry” Lessig, to oppose Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump by providing an array of legal services and advice to prospective “faithless Electors” who were by law required to vote in accordance with the plurality of votes cast in their state. 11

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and received Equal Foundation’s initial brief on March 2, 2020. 12


Lawrence “Larry” Lessig is the founder of Equal Citizens. Lessig is a Harvard professor, lawyer, and political activist who founded Equal Citizens in 2018. In 2016, Lessig unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for President of the United States on a platform of restricting campaign speech. 13


  1. “About” Equal Citizens.
  2. “About” Equal Citizens.
  3. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Accessed March 29, Part I, Lines 8 and 18.
  4. “Equal Votes” Equal Citizens.; and
  5. “Equal Votes” Equal Citizens.; and
  6. “Equal Votes” Equal Citizens.
  7. “End Super PACs” Equal Citizens.
  8. “End Super PACs” Equal Citizens.
  9. “Electors Freedom” Equal Citizens.
  10. “Electors Freedom” Equal Citizens.
  11. Cheyney, Kyle. Lessig, lawyers to offer support to anti-Trump electors. POLITICO. December 5, 2016. Accessed March 29, 2020.
  12. Sherry, Alison. Sotomayor Recuses from Electors Case, Cites Baca Friendship. U.S. News. March 11, 2020. Accessed March 29, 2020.
  13. Balcerzak, Ashley. “Larry Lessig Takes His Plan to Congress.” OpenSecrets News, September 23, 2016.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2018

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Equal Citizens

    1032 15TH NW SUITE 239
    Washington, DC 20005-1502