Wisconsin voters approve constitutional amendments to ban ‘Zuckerbucks’ in elections – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) – Wisconsin voted Tuesday to amend the state constitution to curb the influence of private organizations over election administration, preventing a repeat of the so-called “Zuckerbucks” controversy in the 2024 election.

The two proposed amendments state that “private donations and grants may not be applied for, accepted, expended, or used in connection with the conduct of any primary, election, or referendum”; and that “only election officials designated by law may perform tasks in the conduct of primaries, elections, and referendums.”

The Center Square reported that 54% of voters approved the first amendment and 58% approved the second.

The amendments were intended to address the hundreds of millions of dollars Google, Facebook, and others poured into the left-wing nonprofit Center for Technology & Civic Life (CTCL) in 2020, which in turn dispersed grants across the United States ostensibly to “protect American elections” and “bolster democracy during the (COVID-19) pandemic.” Critics said the project was really about buying access that could be used to commit vote fraud.

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the 2020 election $1.6 million led to Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein of the National Vote at Home Institute being made a “grant mentor,” functioning as “the de facto city elections chief,” including “access to boxes of absentee ballots before the election” despite his past work for several Democrat candidates, including “fiercely liberal” former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

According to emails, Spitzer-Rubenstein sought and eventually obtained a role to “help” cure (fix errors or omissions on) absentee ballots and was even given keys to the locked room where absentee ballots were stored “several days before the election.” Green Bay City Clerk Kris Teske originally declined the request but was overridden by pressure from the office of Democrat Mayor Eric Genrich and ultimately resigned in October.

“Wisconsin election law clearly spells out that municipal clerks are in charge of administering elections,” Wisconsin Spotlight’s MD Kittle wrote at the time. Wisconsin Voters Alliance and Thomas More Society attorney Erick Kaardal “said CTCL’s election security funding came with conditions that bound the city to give these left-leaning actors power they could not legally take. The mayor and his team, as well as the city council, had no legal right to limit the clerk’s role in the elections, or take them over.”

As of last month, 27 states prohibited the influence of such grants, nicknamed “Zuckerbucks” for Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. Wisconsin’s left-wing Democrat Gov. Tony Evers would have vetoed any effort to enact such a ban legislatively, but the amendment process circumvents the governor.

“Whether there is actual election tampering or not, an impression of an injustice is as detrimental to society as an actual injustice,” Republican state Sen. Eric Wimberger said in support of the reform. “People need policies and procedures that instill confidence in the vote result, even if they don’t like the result. These amendments help create that confidence.”

“The administration of our elections should be fair, impartial, and free from outside influence. With today’s results, voters sent a clear message that they want to keep private money out of election administration,” Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) president and general counsel Rick Esenberg added. “Today, Wisconsin becomes the 28th state to approve a measure to keep private funding out of impartial election administration. Whether you identify with the left or the right, ensuring the fairness and integrity of our elections should be a shared priority.”

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