The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), a nonprofit organization with extensive ties to tech giant Mark Zuckerberg, will no longer donate money to aid elections following intense backlash from conservatives.
In the months leading up to the November 2020 presidential election, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated around $350 million to the CTCL.
The CTCL then channeled this money, known in conservative circles as “Zuckerbucks” or “Zuck bucks,” to thousands of county and city election officials all over the United States. Officially, this money was used to hire more staff, buy more machinery to process mail-in ballots and fund other measures these officials deemed necessary to properly handle the election.
The CTCL funneling the money to polling stations all over the country was quickly and rightfully deemed controversial in conservative circles, so much so that even mainstream media outlets began covering the donation critically. Even the New York Times admitted that the prospect of election administrators being able to tap into “large pools of private money” raised legal and political concerns.
“As Mark and Priscilla made clear previously, their election infrastructure donation to help ensure that Americans could vote during the height of the pandemic was a one-time donation given the unprecedented nature of the crisis,” said spokesperson Ben LaBolt. “They have no plans to repeat that donation.”
“This is all being done by patriots pushing back in every way … everybody pushing back as humanity, it’s so exciting, so wonderful,” commented Melissa Red Pill on the April 13 episode of her Brighteon.TV show, “Freedom Force Battalion.”
At least eight GOP-controlled states passed laws last year banning private donations to election offices in reaction to Zuckerberg’s donations. The contributions may have helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election over Donald Trump.
CTCL will still try to influence midterm elections, even with fewer resources
But the lack of funding from Zuckerberg has not deterred the CTCL from attempting to influence the elections. It has recently launched a new program, known as the “U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence,” which will provide $80 million over five years to thousands of local election officials supposedly to improve their technology and processes.
“The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is bringing together world-class partners so that local election officials no longer have to go it alone,” said CTCL Executive Director Tiana Epps-Johnson.
Epps-Johnson noted that the CTCL’s experience during the 2020 election showed the nonprofit how “years of underinvestment” have impacted local election offices.
Election officials will be able to submit applications for funding aid with the CTCL, but Epps-Johnson acknowledged that the lack of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of funding from Zuckerberg will force the nonprofit to work differently.
In 2020, the CTCL distributed the “Zuck bucks” to more than 2,500 election offices all over the country. Without Zuckerberg’s explicit support, Epps-Johnson is unlikely to reach as many election offices this November.