Remember when Mark Zuckerberg and his wife funneled $419 million in “Zuck Bucks” to local election officials across the states in 2020 to ostensibly help them better handle the challenges of putting together an election during a pandemic?
Some states have since banned “Zuck Bucks”:
— Senator Doug Mastriano (@SenMastriano) April 13, 2022
In 2020, we saw Mark Zuckerberg pour ‘Zuck Bucks’ into local election operations across the country. We are banning this in SD. We take election integrity seriously. We already have some of the strongest election laws on the books, and this legislation makes them even stronger. pic.twitter.com/sDpH9GG6TM
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 16, 2022
But for those states that didn’t ban them, trouble may be on the horizon, as something similar is happening again — this time via the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, an ostensibly nonpartisan alliance that’s been offering grants to local election officials.
Except it appears at first glance that there’s nothing nonpartisan about the alliance. After all, the alliance is headed by the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a decidedly left-wing nonprofit.
“The organization pushes for left-of-center voting policies and election administration. It has a wide reach into local elections offices across the nation and is funded by many left-of-center funding organizations such as the Skoll Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund,” according to Influence Watch.
The Honest Elections Project, a conservative nonprofit, notes in a newly released report that the center and “a coalition of likeminded nonprofits and companies” formed the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence in April of 2022.
Afterward, they began “target[ing] local election offices, offering participants an extensive portfolio of grants, trainings, resources, and consulting services.”
“In November of 2022, it announced its first ten member offices—dubbed ‘Centers for Election Excellence’—that included two counties in North Carolina, Brunswick and Forsyth,” according to the report from the Honest Elections Project.
Like Influence Watch, the Honest Elections Project can now confirm that the alliance is indeed a left-wing operation.
“The Alliance claims to be nonpartisan and intended only to ‘bring together’ elections officials ‘around a set of common values and standards. However, documents revealed by the Honest Elections Project — and reviewed by the John Locke Foundation — show that the Alliance is actually designed to systematically influence every aspect of election administration in target offices and push progressive voting policies,” its report reads.
The Honest Elections Project further links CTCL to the 2020 presidential election, noting that the organization was one of the groups picked by the Zuckerbergs to distribute their “Zuck Bucks” to local officials.
The Alliance for Election Excellence is a project of the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which doled out Zuckerbucks in 2020. CTCL is giving $1 million early on to Clark County, NV and will give another $2 million in December 2023, in time for the 2024 presidential election. pic.twitter.com/pFUSeYSOGb
— Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH) January 19, 2023
“CTCL was at the heart of the liberal effort to use $400 million provided by Mark Zuckerberg to influence the way election offices functioned and to steer funds disproportionately to jurisdictions that voted Democratic,” the project notes.
Moreover, CTCL and other alliance members “are also backed by a constellation of liberal dark money groups, including eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar’s Democracy Fund and Arabella Advisors’ New Venture Fund, and are led and staffed by people with deep ties to the Democratic Party and partisan progressive organizations.”
Worse, the alliance has set it up so that the money it hands over to election officials can only be used “exclusively on services provided by left-wing companies and nonprofits, entirely outside normal public funding channels.”
“Based on documentation obtained through the public records process, these services range from ‘legal’ and ‘political’ consulting to public relations and guidance on recruitment and training,” according to the Honest Elections Project.
“What we’re looking at pretty plainly is Zuck Bucks 2.0. It’s an attempt to burrow into the very core of election offices and influence the way that they think and operate at a very granular level,” Honest Elections Project executive director Jason Snead told the Washington Examiner.
“Elections should be transparent and accountable to the people. No matter what it claims to be, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is nothing more than a dark money-fueled scheme to push liberal voting policies and influence election administration in key states and localities,” he said in a separate statement to Fox News.
“This report should make clear that a private funding ban, vigorous oversight and complete transparency from officials are essential to restoring trust in our election system and making it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” he added.
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