By Leif Le Mahieu. Media: DailyWire.
Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) has signed a bill into law that prohibits Georgia counties from taking private money to fund elections after millions of dollars in private money were used in the Peach State during the 2020 presidential election.
The law, SB 222, strengthens a previous law that banned officials but not counties from accepting money. The law was in part precipitated by DeKalb County, an Atlanta area county that voted 83% for Joe Biden, taking $2 million from the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence this year, seemingly skirting the first iteration of the law.
Honest Elections Project Action, an election watchdog group, praised the decision, saying that it would help restore trust in Georgia’s elections.
“Honest Elections Project Action applauds Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia state legislature for further tightening the state’s prohibition on outside funding for election administration, prompted by the left-wing dark money funded Center for Tech and Civic Life attempting to evade state law to pump $2 million into DeKalb County,” said Jason Snead, the group’s executive director.
“The private funding of election administration ultimately sows distrust in election outcomes,” he added. “States across the country should follow in Georgia’s footsteps by passing robust bans on private election administration funding.”
Following the 2020 election, critics argued that the massive amount of election funding by several groups, including the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), unfairly benefited Democrat-dominated counties.
Both groups were backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who gave about $419 million to the groups to give to counties for the 2020 election. In Georgia in 2020, the CTLC gave $30 million to counties during the presidential election and another $14 million during the Senate runoff. This money became known as “Zuckerbucks,” because the tech billionaire had poured so much money into the races.
According to an analysis by the Government Accountability Foundation, the spending overwhelmingly favored counties that Biden won. In blue counties, $7.13 was spent per registered voter, while only $1.91 was spent per registered voter in red counties, according to the report.
“The Zuckerberg funding is an unprecedented example of using government employees and government resources to put your finger on the scale, to affect the election outcome,” Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, told Fox News.
Bragdon said that the key was to “follow the money” when looking at the donations in Georgia.
“They will talk about most of the counties that got money had fewer than 25,000 people or that X percent of counties were Republican counties,” he said. “But the key here is to follow the money. And the money went disproportionately to Democratic counties. In Georgia, more than 90 percent of the money went to those Democrat counties. And you could see from the spending per registered voter that it was not proportionate at all.”
Other reporting cited similar impacts of the spending in other tight states, including Wisconsin and Arizona.
Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas all banned private election funding in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.