Private Funding in Elections

The integrity of our elections is paramount to a functioning democracy. There was a time in America when the Democrat Party was concerned about the influx of dollars into our elections. They argued that when wealthy individuals are allowed to deploy vast amounts of private funding into a candidate, that exercises undue influence on the electoral process and distorts the underlying principle of democracy itself: that all voters have an equal voice in our elections, and everyone can weigh in to decide the future of the country.

However, the left has utterly abandoned that principle, and nowhere is that clearer than in the 2020 election. That year, Mark Zuckerberg—the billionaire founder of Facebook and Meta—donated more than $400 million to election offices and election day operations, such as the construction of additional ballot drop boxes, ballot harvesting, ballot curing, voter registration, and get out the vote efforts. These funds were donated through a left-wing group called the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), an organization with ties to the Obama administration and other progressive groups.

According to a report from the Foundation for Government Accountability, in exchange for this funding, CTCL officials were granted access to ballot information, reports of absentee ballots, and even the keys to a room used for mail-in ballot storage. Furthermore, it is well-documented that these funds were specifically targeted to deep blue strongholds (mostly in swing states), all to advantage the Democrat Party.

For example, “Pennsylvania received $25 million in Zuckerbucks, with more than 90% of these funds going to counties that Joe Biden won. In Michigan, roughly half of the $15 million went to the city of Detroit, which voted 94% for Biden. In Wisconsin, nearly 85% of the $10 million spent went into the state’s five most populous cities, which Joe Biden won by an average of 37 points.” In fact, analysis from The American Conservative even suggests that CTCL money secured the win for Joe Biden in the state of Wisconsin in 2020, estimating that “CTCL spending in Wisconsin purchased Joe Biden an additional 65,222 votes, without which Donald Trump would have won the state by 44,540 votes.”

This is not indicative of free and fair elections, nor is it in line with the principle that the will of the people—rather than the whims of the elites—should govern the direction of our country. Getting private dollars out of federal election day operations must be a priority—especially when those dollars are specifically targeted to blue strongholds with the obvious intention of manipulating the election outcome in favor of the Democrat Party.

Americans must have confidence in the results of our elections, and private money should not go to influence the outcomes of votes through targeted election-day operational infrastructure. Congress should move to restrict such funding in future elections so that Americans of all stripes can be confident that the candidate preferred by the people—not by the wealthy—is the one who ends up winning the vote.