An explosive report that suggests Mark Zuckerberg effectively “bought” the 2020 presidential election by funneling more than $ 400 million to local electoral councils under the guise of a “non-partisan” effort has sparked outrage and concerns. calls from officials for reform.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lambasted the billionaire founder of Facebook at a press conference in which he said a recent electoral reform law had “banned Zuckerbucks” in the Sunshine State.
“So Zuckerberg, he spent over $ 400 million through these, let’s name, nonprofits for, let’s quote, help with election administration,” DeSantis said Tuesday.
“But what they would do is they would demand that certain things be done like the mass mail-in, the ballot harvesting, and they would focus primarily on partisan voter turnout. It was totally unacceptable.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Told The Post: “I continue to wonder if Mark Zuckerberg’s highly partisan election expenses in 2020 were even legal.”
“While we still don’t know everything that happened, public reports of his influence on the 2020 election in Green Bay and other Democratic strongholds raise enough suspicion,” Johnson said in response to the report. from Tuesday from The Federalist.
Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, also a Republican, has ordered an investigation into work funded by Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, in the state’s five largest cities.
These include Green Bay – where the city clerk reportedly resigned under pressure to work with “grant mentors” and correct errors on mail ballots.
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) retweeted a report on the investigation, adding: “Are our elections for sale?” Did Mark Zuckerberg Buy Wisconsin Presidential Election? “
Zuckerberg’s money was supposed to increase government funding and “promote safe and reliable voting” amid the COVID-19 pandemic so that “every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely manner and have their vote counted” , according to a September 2020 press release announcing the plan.
Earlier this year, an analysis by the Conservative Foundation for Government Accountability found that in the Battlefield State of Georgia, about $ 29 million of Zuckerberg’s money went to counties President Biden earned. later, at a rate of $ 7.13 per registered voter.
In contrast, the counties in Peach State that former President Donald Trump transported received a total of $ 2.3 million – at a rate of just $ 1.91 per voter, the FGA said.
In a prepared statement, a spokesperson for Zuckerberg-Chan acknowledged donations of $ 350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life and $ 69.5 million to the Center for Election Innovation and Research.
“CTCL has launched an open appeal to local jurisdictions across the country and has provided funding to all jurisdictions that have applied,” said spokesperson Ben LaBolt.
“Almost 2,500 electoral jurisdictions from 49 states have requested and received funds, including urban, suburban, rural and exurban counties.”
LaBolt added: “While Mark and Priscilla provided a block grant to CTCL [to] ensure that funding was available, they were not involved in the process to determine which jurisdictions received funding, and as [nonprofit organization] CTCL is prohibited from engaging in partisan activities.
Neither a representative of CTCL nor any of its three founders – Executive Director Tiana Epps-Johnson, Director of Government Services Whitney May and Director of Civilian Data Donny Bridges – returned the Post’s requests for comment.
CEIR founder and executive director David Becker called the federalist report “full of misinterpretations” and touted his group’s distribution of $ 64.2 million of Zuckerberg’s money to 22 states and the district. from Columbia.
“These grants have helped states notify voters about changes to electoral procedures, polling locations, and recruit election officials in response to the pandemic,” he said in an email to The Post.
“CEIR is very proud of our efforts to help election officials from both parties successfully ensure the most secure, transparent and verified elections in American history, with record turnout, amid a global pandemic . “