Time to read: 5 minutes
Submitted by Ginny Quaglia
The Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a Chicago, Illinois-based center-left election reform advocacy group formed in 2012* created the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence in early 2022.**
CTCL is notably financed by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. These funds are commonly known as “ZuckerBucks” which came to prominence in the 2020 election cycle. Zuckerberg issued $350 million to hundreds of county and city elections officials in 47 states. North Carolina received over $7 Million of this “dark” money to influence our elections.
Many states (26 as of 1/20/23) have made such private contributions illegal. And many other states are working on bills to do the same.***
In fact, the North Carolina Legislature is currently working on SB 89 **** which would make these private funds illegal.
Earlier this year it was discovered that the Brunswick County Board of Elections signed an agreement with the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence and CTCL to receive funds for our county election office and many concerned citizens would like that contract nullified. Many citizens agree that this outside influence has no place in our elections. In fact in May of 2022 Rasmussen Reports published their election integrity polling of all U.S. National Likely Voters stating that: “70% say private ‘Zuckerbucks’ type partisan election funding is “a bad thing for American Democracy,” including 52% of Black voters and 62% of Democrats.” (polling conducted 12/21-22/2021. Margin of sampling error +/- 3 percentage pts with a 95% level of confidence) *****
On Saturday 3/11/23, in North Carolina’s Brunswick County, the Brunswick County Republican Party held its 2023 Convention. At that Convention, a resolution overwhelmingly passed that supported NC SB 89. Last year SB 725 passed both houses and was essentially equivalent to and carried the same intent as the currently active SB 89. That bill was vetoed by Governor Cooper. Brunswick County’s Republican Senator Bill Rabon and Republican Representatives Charlie Miller and Frank Iler supported that bill.
Since that resolution passed at the Republican County Convention concerned citizens are receiving pushback from at least one of the two county Board of Elections Republican board members and the (all Republican) Board of Commissioners, most of whom do not want to sever the contract with CTCL and the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence to use “Zuckerbucks” for our election office. This is in direct conflict with the resolution passed at the Republican Party convention.
Citizens remain concerned about the integrity of our elections and the security of our ballots and therefore we advocate you contact your North Carolina state senators and representatives and ask them to support SB 89 and get it moving forward. Look up your state senators and representatives here: https://ncleg.gov/findyourlegislators
If you live in Brunswick County contact the Republican County Commissioners and BOE members:
Board of Elections Board member Mr. Pelton: email@example.com
Board of Elections Board member Mr. Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair, Brunswick County NC Action