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Bill would cement constitutional amendment for October ballot

Washington, D.C. – The Louisiana Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee this week approved anti-corruption legislation to ban the private financing of local election offices by ideological groups, corporations, Big Tech companies, and possible foreign interlopers—commonly referred to as ‘Zuckerbucks.’ H.B. 311, which was previously passed by the House with bipartisan support and a two-thirds majority, now awaits consideration on the Senate Floor.

The bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Louisiana to prohibit the use of monies from a foreign government or nongovernmental source to fund elections. And if passed by the Senate by a two-thirds margin would submit a referendum to Louisiana voters at the statewide election to be held on October 14, 2023.

“No funds, goods, or services donated by a foreign government or a nongovernmental source shall be used to conduct elections unless provided for in the election code and subject to restrictions provided by general law,” the amended constitution would read.

On June 7, 2021 Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed H.B. 20 making it illegal for private money to flow into Louisiana election offices.

ETI recently urged Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee chairwoman Sharon Hewitt’s swift consideration of H.B. 311 and continues conducting a grassroots education and outreach campaign to help bring awareness to this issue.

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

“We applaud the Louisiana Senate’s Governmental Affairs Committee for tackling this critical legislation and advancing it to the Senate Floor. Following the governor’s politically motivated veto and ongoing Left-wing efforts to obstruct meaningful election integrity, voters deserve the opportunity to decide once and for all whether the ‘Zuckerbucks’ campaign financing scheme should be allowed to corrupt Louisiana’s elections. We urge Chairwoman Hewitt and Senate President Page Cortez to ensure their colleagues’ full support and to expeditiously bring H.B. 311 to the Floor for a final vote without delay.”

During the 2020 election cycle, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to nonprofits, including the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which then funneled that money to thousands of election jurisdictions in 48 states and Washington, D.C. under the guise of “election administration.”

Now, after dozens of states have acted to ban “Zuckerbucks,” CTCL and a coalition of left-wing organizations are re-doubling their efforts to circumvent state laws 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. Earlier this year, it was announced that the Alliance selected DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections for an initial grant award of $2 million in violation of the state’s 2021 ban.

The funds from CTCL and their allies were strategically directed into Democrat-leaning jurisdictions at a rate of 2:1 during the 2020 cycle, including $1,128,000 into Louisiana.

“Zuckerbucks shouldn’t pay for elections,” The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote.

“…[P]rivate election funding is inappropriate and sows distrust…This isn’t how elections should be run, especially in the current era of partisan mistrust.”

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.