During the 2020 election cycle, uber wealthy Mark Zuckerberg orchestrated much of Big Tech’s plan to ensure that more Democrat votes were cast and counted in key precincts across the country.
In this, Big Tech was aided in large measure by three factors: the cover of COVID as an excuse to “facilitate” the voting process, lax election laws in many states, and the lure of “free” money for local officials (including Republican office holders) always eager to receive more of it.
Three years later, some things have changed that will force these players to alter their tactics in manipulating election procedures, but Big Tech’s will to do so has not in the least diminished.
Changes to voting procedures implemented in recent years, most notably widespread mail-in and multi-day voting, have become systematized to the degree that voters (and many courts) now consider it a right to be able to cast votes days if not weeks in advance of scheduled and lawful voting days. It has become the status quo.
Granted, it has not always worked out the way Democrats hoped and planned; just ask Georgia Democrat super star Stacey Abrams, who lost decisively to incumbent GOP Governor Brian Kemp last November.
On the other hand, Democrats have achieved several notable successes thanks to massive early and mail-in balloting. By all accounts, for example, Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate, and now sitting Sen. John Fetterman, benefitted greatly from having a huge number of votes cast for him in the days and weeks before his sole debate with his GOP opponent, during which he performed miserably.
Much media attention was drawn to the Left’s brazen and prideful effort in 2020 to use its vast resources to “improve” voter access to ballots and to assist vote counters, especially in key battleground precincts. A foundation controlled by Zuckerberg – the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) — did not shy away from letting the media know that it plowed some $400 million into programs to expand mail-in balloting, increase the number of ballot drop boxes, and related administrative activities by local election offices.
This go round, the Left is proceeding more subtly and indirectly; but its Big Tech mega benefactors definitely remain in the hunt to influence the 2024 elections. It is engaging the battle across many fronts, including having the CTCL lobby Congress to appropriate billions to states to help cover the rising cost of paper for ballots (used primarily for mail-in ballots, of course).
Even as Zuckerberg publicly had “sworn off bankrolling local election administration,” other Big Tech players are funding programs designed to accomplish the same electoral goal.
The Honest Elections Project (HEP) has identified one organization at the center of this drive — the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence (USAEE). This benign sounding, self-proclaimed nonpartisan entity was, according to its website, “introduced to the world at TED2022” with funding “catalyzed” from the aptly named “Audacious Project.”
In fact, the very same CTCL that orchestrated the delivery of hundreds of millions of so-called “Zuck Bucks” to local election offices three years ago, proudly announced the “launch” of this new Alliance on April 11, 2022 with an initial commitment of $80 million.
Same story, different dust jacket.
Many states do not restrict private entities, including nonprofits such as CTCL and USAEE, from giving money to local election offices to supplement their budgets. In these states, “nonpartisan” organizations funded by Big Tech can spend freely to indirectly influence voting patterns and practices, just as in 2020.
In those two dozen or so states that do restrict such financial meddling in election processes, the USAEE has to be more circumspect in how it goes about its business. Instead of directly supplementing election office coffers, the Alliance “shares knowledge, experience, and best practices” with “local election offices across the nation.” It offers training, mentoring, and support systems to help qualifying “centers” in chosen states create “values and standards of election excellence.”
Gobbledygook it is, but behind the flowery rhetoric, these so-called “dark money” groups will once again be doing everything they can to ensure their preferred, left-leaning candidates garner as many mailed-in or drop-boxed ballots as necessary to prevail.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.