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Report: Zuckerberg election grants broke federal law

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 18, 2020

MADISON — A new report finds the hundreds of millions of dollars donated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife to a left-wing group for election initiatives violated federal election laws.

The Tech & Civic Life (CTCL) dumped millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s Democrat-dominated cities for vote harvesting campaigns and other efforts — thanks to its tech titan sugar daddy, according to the 39-page report by the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project. The report claims the money funded initiatives that “created a two-tiered election system that treated voters differently depending on whether they lived in Democrat or Republican strongholds.”

As Empower Wisconsin has reported, CTCL gave a total of $6.3 million in grants to five of Wisconsin’s biggest cities, each run by Democrats. The money was provided under the auspices of administering “safe and secure” elections during the pandemic.

CTCL dropped many millions more in Democrat strongholds in other battleground states.

The grants helped support some of the more controversial early voting campaigns, including ballot collection operations, the report notes. The traditionally Democrat-dominated municipalities “considered state election integrity laws as obstacles and nuisances to be ignored or circumvented,” the authors assert.

“… Zuckerberg-CTCL funds allowed these Democrat strongholds to spend roughly $47 per voter, compared to $4 to $7 per voter in traditionally Republican areas of the state (of Wisconsin),” the report states. “Moreover, this recruiting of targeted jurisdictions for specific government action and funding runs contrary to legislative election plans and invites government to play favorites in the election process.”

The Wisconsin Voters Alliance contested the legality of the grants more than a month before the Nov. 3 election. WVA made similar claims in a federal lawsuit, arguing only states have the authority to accept and use private election grants. The group also cited CTCL’s left-leaning mission, noting that the grants were targeted to five liberal-led cities.

A federal judge rejected the lawsuit, writing that nothing in state law prohibits the use of such private funds by municipalities and adding that several other communities around Wisconsin received CTCL funds.

But the Amistad Project report says the “privatization of elections” runs counter to the Help America Voter Act (HAVA), which requires state election plans to be approved by federal officials and requires respect for equal protection “by making all resources available equally to all voters.”

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