(LifeSiteNews) — A controversial organization whose spending in the 2020 election fueled concerns about election integrity has announced another wave of grants to election offices around the country, ensuring such doubts will likely be repeated in 2024 in the jurisdictions where such contributions are still allowed.
In 2020, two nonprofits backed by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), distributed a combined $419.5 million to local election offices, ostensibly for the nonpartisan purposes of helping improve election administration.
This summer, LifeSiteNews reported that CTCL plans to spend $80 million over the next five years on “bringing together election officials, designers, technologists, and other experts to help local election departments improve operations, develop a set of shared standards and values, and obtain access to best-in-class resources to run successful elections,” via its U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence initiative, this time without money from Zuckerberg.
This week, the Associated Press reported additional details about CTCL’s plans, including that the first ten jurisdictions to receive money will be Contra Costa and Shasta counties in California; Greenwich in Connecticut; Kane and Macoupin counties in Illinois; Ottawa County in Michigan; Clark County in Nevada; Brunswick and Forsyth counties in North Carolina; and Madison in Wisconsin. The size of the grants will range from $50,000 to $3 million, depending on how large a recipient’s population of registered voters is.
Further, the money will have “almost no restrictions on how it can be spent,” according to the AP, with “improving websites to recruiting poll workers and building larger, more secure office spaces” listed as possible uses. But recent history raises concerning examples of how else it might be spent.
In Green Bay, Wisconsin, for instance, $1.6 million of the 2020 money 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.
Such scandals led to more than 20 states passing laws forbidding any private funding for election operations, effectively banning what had been dubbed “Zuckerbucks.” As a result, the new donations will largely be confined to either blue or purple states, where it could help increase Democrat voter turnout.
“It seems like this entire process will occur behind the scenes with no guardrails or transparency, furthering the concerns of voters over undue influence on the conduct of elections,” said Foundation for Government Accountability researcher Hayden Dublois. “It seems most of the targets for the alliance are geared towards blue states, with some Democratic strongholds in swing states included, as well.”
The 2020 election was marred by allegations of pro-Democrat vote fraud, bolstered by the dramatic expansion of voting-by-mail in the name of COVID-19 “social distancing.” 28 states relaxed their mail ballot rules in 2020, contributing to a 17-million increase in voter participation from 2016. In addition to mail ballots generally being less secure than in-person votes, four of those states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — changed their rules without legislative consent. Those four alone composed 56 of President Joe Biden’s electoral votes, more than enough to decide the victor.
The prevailing mainstream media narrative holds that stolen election fears are a “debunked conspiracy theory” on the grounds that legal challenges to the election results failed in court. But while some of the legal briefs filed on behalf of former President Donald Trump were flawed, many others were dismissed over process issues without a judge ever considering their contents.