Swing State Votes for Major Election Integrity Initiative, Will Change How Elections Are Run After ‘Zuckerbucks’ Ban

Swing State Votes for Major Election Integrity Initiative, Will Change How Elections Are Run After ‘Zuckerbucks’ Ban

Wisconsin voters chose Tuesday to approve two Republican sponsored ballot initiatives that ended the use of “Zuckerbucks” in their elections, as well as limited those who may work in elections to government employees.

Question 1 created a constitutional amendment that bars election officials from accepting private grants to fund their operations.

Question 2 added a constitutional amendment requiring that “only election officials designated by law may perform tasks in the conduct of primaries, elections, and referendum.”

Question 1 passed by a margin of approximately 54 to 46 percent, while Question 2 won by 59 to 41 percent, according to the most recent numbers reported by The New York Times.

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had twice vetoed bills aimed at addressing these issues.

So the ballot initiatives Questions 1 and 2 were the Republican legislature’s way to take the issue of election integrity directly to the voters.

Former Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker noted before Tuesday’s election, “According to the Associated Press, in [2020], Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $400 million to two nonprofit organizations to help various government election offices across the country,” pointing out a bulk of their money went to The Center for Tech and Civic Life, which then distributed it.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that $10.6 million went to Wisconsin with the bulk of it, $8.8 million, going to the state’s five largest cities, which happen to be Democratic strongholds: Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Racine and Kenosha.

“Democrats routinely do well in each of these urban areas,” Walker wrote. “In particular, they receive 80 percent or more of the vote in many of the wards in the City of Madison and the City of Milwaukee. Nonprofits helping increase turnout in these wards were actually increasing the turnout for Democrats.”

“This should not be legal whether Mark Zuckerberg funded it on the left or Charles Koch on the right. Elections should be run by government officials,” he said.

As an example, in 2020 Green Bay received a reported $1.6 million grant from The Center for Tech and Civic Life, and Democratic operative Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein was named the “grant mentor” for the city.

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who the Wisconsin Assembly named as a special counsel to look into 2020 election issues, told then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson in 2022 that Spitzer-Rubenstein, a lawyer from Brooklyn, in effect ran the city of Green Bay’s election.

Then-Green Bay city clerk Kris Teske went on leave two weeks before the general election out of frustration with how Spitzer-Rubenstein was usurping her authority, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Democratic Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich “allowed staff who were not educated on election law to run the election, along with people who weren’t even City of Green Bay employees,” Teske wrote in an email in December 2020, according to the Journal.

Democrat Joe Biden carried Wisconsin in 2020 by 20,682 votes over then-President Donald Trump, a margin of less than 1 percent.

Wisconsin GOP chairman Brian Schimming responded to Tuesday’s vote saying in a statement, “Wisconsin has spoken and the message is clear: elections belong to voters, not out-of-state billionaires.”

“Thanks to the efforts by the Republican Party of Wisconsin and grassroots organizing, Wisconsinites have turned the page on Zuckerbucks and secured our elections from dark money donors,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesman Joe Oslund said in a statement, “Thanks to the efforts of [Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly] Robin Vos and Republican politicians in Wisconsin’s legislature, our Constitution will now reflect the lies Donald Trump has told about his 2020 loss.”

National Conference of State Legislatures reported that at least 27 other states have moved to “prohibit, limit or regulate the use of private or philanthropic funding to run elections” since the 2020 election.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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