Wisconsin becomes 28th state to pass a ban on ‘Zuckerbucks’ ahead of 2024 election

Wisconsin voters approved two constitutional amendments that would ban private funds – dubbed “Zuckerbucks” – from being used in election administration in the key battleground state. On Tuesday, a pair of state constitutional amendments pushed by Republican lawmakers cleared the majority threshold of Wisconsin voters to pass. The measures will ban clerks from accepting or receiving private grant money to help conduct elections, and require that only election officials can conduct elections. “Wisconsin has spoken and the message is clear: elections belong to voters, not out-of-state billionaires,” said state GOP Chairman Brian Schimming in a statement.’END ZUCKERBUCKS’: GOP BILL AIMS TO BAN MARK ZUCKERBERG-STYLE ELECTION FUNDINGDemocrats opposed both measures, arguing they would make it more difficult to conduct elections. They also raised concerns about how the broadly written election workers provision would be interpreted and implemented by local election officials, The Associated Press reported.Both constitutional amendments on the ballot were in reaction to grant money that came to Wisconsin in 2020 from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a liberal group that advocates for voter access. That year the organization received a $300 million donation from Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to help election officials buy supplies and run elections at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.’ZUCK BUCKS 2.0′: ZUCKERBERG-FUNDED GROUP PUSHING MILLIONS TO INFLUENCE LOCAL ELECTION OFFICES, REPORT SAYSThat funding came with the stated goal of helping jurisdictions deal with the coronavirus pandemic through measures such as paying for ballot drop boxes, voting equipment, additional manpower, protective gear for poll workers and public education campaigns on new voting methods.The state’s five largest cities, all of which President Biden won, received $8.8 million. They were among roughly 200 communities in Wisconsin that received around $10 million as part of $350 million given out nationally, the AP reported. Republicans nationwide have claimed that such funding disproportionately helps Democrats in elections.  “We’re pleased that voters acted resoundingly to ban Zuckerbucks after Governor Evers’ politically motivated vetoes,” said National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative (ETI) and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. “After all, one team doesn’t pay the refs for the Final Four, so why should one side be allowed to pay the ‘refs’ in our elections? The Left funneled money through election offices for partisan voter turnout in 2020, but pretended to be unbiased and non-partisan,” he said. According to data from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), Wisconsin is the 28th state to restrict the use of private funds in elections. Those states include battlegrounds like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arizona, among others.”Wisconsin was ground zero for Zuckerbucks in 2020. But on Tuesday, Badger State voters chose to reject that same type of dark money influence from affecting future elections,” Sam Rogers, state government affairs director for FGA, told Fox News Digital.”Wisconsin is a critical swing state, and by locking this election protection into their state constitution, Wisconsinites can move forward with more faith and confidence in the integrity of their voting process.””The impact of this change will ripple all the way through to November,” added Rogers.TEXAS AG INVESTIGATING ZUCKERBERG-BACKED NONPROFIT OVER ELECTION CONCERNSJason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, praised the ballot measures’ passage as an effort “to enshrine a ban on private influence on election administration in their state constitution.” “Private influence schemes such as ZuckBucks in 2020 and ZuckBucks 2.0 in 2024 sow distrust in election outcomes, which is why they should be banned in all 50 states. Moneyed interests, conservative and liberal alike, have no business influencing how elections are administered,” Snead said. The Associated Press and Fox News Digital’s Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.
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