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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Georgia House Flirts With Bill to Ban Zuckerberg-Funded Private Donations for Federal State, Local Election Administration

Georgia state representative Joseph Gullet introduced a bill to the Georgia House of Representatives that would ban private funding for the administration of federal, state and local elections to combat any outside influence and meddling. 

As reported by Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy, this practice was initiated by none other than Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, who made a whopping $419.5 million in contributions to non-profit organizations during the 2020 election cycle: $350 million to the “Safe Elections Project at the Center for Technology and Civic Life and $69.5 million to the Center for Election Innovation and Research. 

Keep in mind, Mark Zuckerberg is co-founder and CEO of Facebook. Big Tech takeover? 

The money went toward elections staffing, absentee ballot postage costs, equipment, voter outreach and personal protective gear. 

These donations, Leahy reports, played a key role in the outcome of the 2020 election, particularly in five key battleground states: Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

“The 2020 presidential election witnessed an unprecedented and coordinated public-private partnership to improperly influence the 2020 presidential election on behalf of one particular candidate and party,” Amistad Project Director Phill Kline wrote in a report

“Funded by hundreds of millions of dollars from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other high-tech interests, activist organizations created a two-tiered election system that treated voters differently depending on whether they lived in Democrat or Republican strongholds.” 

Georgia state Rep. Joseph Gullet, a republican from Dallas, argued that taxpayers and their governments should fund elections administration, not nonprofit groups like the ones Zuckerberg made such gracious donations to. 

“That money was beneficial to the counties, but one role of the government is to run elections, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to allow outside organizations to do it,” Gullett said. “We want as little influence on elections as possible.” 

The bill, cosponsored by State Reps. Alan Powell, Martin Momtahan, Rick Williams, Matthew Gambill and Philip Singleton includes the following components, as reported by Breitbart

  • A board of elections or board of elections and registration established pursuant to this subpart shall only be authorized to accept funding from lawful appropriations of public funds from the government of the United States, the State of Georgia, or a Georgia county municipality. No such board of elections or board of elections and registration shall be authorized to accept or expend any grant, gift or funding from private persons, corporations, organizations, partnerships, registered political parties, or political bodies. 
  • A superintendent of a county or municipality shall only be authorized to accept funding from lawful appropriations of public funds from the government of the United States, the State of Georgia, or a Georgia county municipality. No such superintendent shall be authorized to accept or expend any grant, gift or funding from private persons, corporations, organizations, partnerships, registered political parties, or political bodies. 
  • A county board of registrars shall only be authorized to accept funding from lawful appropriations of public funds from the government of the United States, the State of Georgia, or a Georgia county of municipality. No county board of registrars shall be authorized to accept or expend any grant, gift or funding from private persons, corporations, organizations, partnerships, registered political parties, or political bodies. 

To be clear, if this bill were to become law, any private group would be prohibited from directly donating to county officials for the administration of any elections, whether state or federal, in Georgia; however, such groups would be allowed to provide donations to the Georgia state government. These expenditures to counties would be allowed if the earmarked donations were then appropriated by the Georgia State Legislature. 

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