State’s investigation into DeKalb County’s illegal 2023 grant first urged in ETI’s February 7 memo

Washington, D.C. Georgia agencies have launched an investigation into the private financing of local election offices by ideological groups, corporations, Big Tech companies, and possible foreign interlopers—commonly referred to as ‘Zuckerbucks—after the campaign financing scheme resurfaced earlier this year in DeKalb County in violation of the state’s 2021 ban.

Citing a spokesman for secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, Fox News recently reported that there is “an active investigation at the direction of the State Elections Board.” The Georgia State Election Board also confirmed that an investigator has been assigned. Raffensperger later said that DeKalb county’s recent acceptance of the private funds “is a violation of S.B. 202 … The legislative intent of S.B. 202 was to preclude any outside organizations from sending, directly, money to counties for election purposes.”

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.

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:

“Schemes to privatize our elections undermine the confidence of voters who have doubts about the legitimacy and accuracy of our elections and whether they were conducted with fairness and honesty. While they can take heart in the General Assembly’s current efforts to enforce Georgia law after DeKalb County attempted to kick the doors in on the state’s 2021 ban, the trust and confidence they deserve won’t be achieved without a full, publicly released report by state agencies upon conclusion of their investigation. CTCL, the deceptively named U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, and their allies want nothing more than to keep voters in the dark, and that is why we urge investigators to ensure their full findings are appropriately made available to the public.”

The Georgia General Assembly is currently considering anti-corruption legislation to help enforce the state’s ‘Zuckerbuks’ prohibition. S.B. 222, which was prompted after DeKalb County announced it had received its illegal $2 million grant, passed out of the Senate on March 3 and will soon be considered by the House.


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