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Senate-passed legislation prompted by DeKalb County’s illegal 2023 grant

Washington, D.C. The Georgia General Assembly is currently considering anti-corruption legislation which would help enforce the state’s 2021 ban on the private financing of local election offices by ideological groups, corporations, Big Tech companies, and possible foreign interlopers—commonly referred to as ‘Zuckerbucks.’ S.B. 222, which was prompted after the scheme resurfaced earlier this year in DeKalb County, passed out of the Senate on March 3 and now awaits consideration by the House.

In May 2022, Dekalb County officials secretly submitted its 2023 grant application to circumvent state law and avoid punishment, keeping it hidden from the board for the next 9 months.

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

“We’re grateful to Senator Max Burns and his Senate colleagues for quickly acting to advance this critical legislation after CTCL’s campaign financing scheme attempted to re-enter Georgia in defiance of the law. If not curtailed, disenfranchised voters will continue to question the legitimacy and accuracy of our elections and doubt whether they were conducted with fairness and honesty. Every election law should be adhered to as written, and everyone should play by the same set of rules—that is the certainty voters deserve. We urge the House to slam the door on the corrupting influence of ‘Zuckerbucks’ once and for all by acting on S.B. 222 without delay.”

In a February 7 memo, the Election Transparency Initiative first urged action to address the Alliance’s illegal DeKalb county grant. The memo, which was addressed to Attorney General Chris Carr, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, State Election Board Chair William Duffey, the General Assembly, and others, requested immediate oversight and accountability to avert repeat privatization of Georgia’s elections.

Specifically, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) and a coalition of left-wing organizations are attempting to circumvent Georgia law through the newly formed front group, the deceptively-named U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence. The “Alliance” is designed to systematically influence every aspect of election administration, offering local election offices an extensive portfolio of grants, trainings, resources, and consulting services. Recently it was announced that the Alliance selected DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections for an initial grant award of $2 million.

In 2021, Governor Kemp and the General Assembly enacted the “Election Integrity Act of 2021” (S.B. 202), comprehensive election integrity legislation which prohibits local election officials from accepting private non-public monies. The move came after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to nonprofits, including CTCL, which then funneled that money to thousands of election jurisdictions in 48 states and Washington, D.C. under the guise of “election administration” during the 2020 election cycle.

The funds from CTCL and their coalition allies were strategically directed into Democrat-leaning jurisdictions at a rate of 2:1 during the 2020 cycle. In fact, Georgia was one of the biggest recipients of these funds, ultimately receiving one of the largest allocations in the nation at more than $45 million, despite the state accounting for just 3.2 percent of the nation’s population.

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

Photo Credit: AP/Jeff Chiu