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Washington, D.C. Building on the successes of last year’s landmark law signed by Governor Kemp in March 2021, the Georgia legislature is currently considering new legislation to strengthen voters’ trust in free and fair elections. If enacted, House Bill 1464 would help ensure more secure, transparent, and accountable Georgia elections, including provisions concerning the investigation of fraud and procedures for absentee voting.

Unfortunately, like the 2021 law, HB 1464 again stops short of prohibiting local election officials from accepting private donations from ideological groups, corporations, big tech companies and possible foreign interlopers—commonly referred to as “Zuckerbucks” after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Although HB 1464 would impose a potentially more transparent and objective process by which such funds could be received by localities, it risks empowering unelected bureaucrats within the Georgia government to distribute such funds arbitrarily.  

National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement:

“While well intended, HB 1464 fails to confront the corrupting influence of big tech oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg who manipulate the official voting apparatus and dilute the voice and votes of Georgians in order to affect turnout. We urge the House and Senate to advance the underlying bill, but to ban private and foreign money from being funneled into local elections once and for all. Over the past year, many states have acted to prohibit these corrupt practices, but Georgia’s new law keeps the door open to billionaires like Zuckerberg to interfere in our elections and undermine the confidence of voters.

“Banning Zuckerbucks is both popular and the right thing to do. The Election Transparency Initiative applauds the Georgia legislature for its commitment these critical issues and urges lawmakers to finally take this important step to clean up their elections.”

During the 2020 election cycle, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to nonprofits, who then used that money for partisan voter turnout that was designed to favor Democrats. At least $45 million was funneled to Georgia to fund government employees turning out Democrat voters.

Recently, the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 80 with bipartisan support, including unanimous approval by the Virginia Senate. The bill stipulates that “[t]he State Board, the Department, each local electoral board, and all offices of the general registrar shall not solicit, accept, use, or dispose of any money, grants, property, or services, given by a private individual or nongovernmental entity for the purpose of funding voter education and outreach programs, voter registration programs, or any other expense incurred in the conduct of elections.”

The Election Transparency Initiative, a partnership between American Principles Project (APP) and the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), was organized to combat federal H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 legislation and advocate for state-based election reforms that voters can trust.