Federal Lawsuits Challenge use of Zuckerberg Millions to Influence Local Election Agencies
St. Paul – The Minnesota Voters Alliance, today announced its participation with the Thomas More Society and several other civic organizations filing federal lawsuits in four battleground states to stop private money being used to influence the administration of elections by government officials. The MVA today filed its suit against the City of Minneapolis in US District Court, with additional filings to follow shortly.
The complaints claim that the funneling of millions of dollars from Mark Zuckerberg, Google, and others through the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to local governments’ election departments is intended ‘to influence the operation of those public agencies during the 2020 election cycle.
The Minnesota Voters Alliance asserts that private funding of this nature amounts to a “privatization” of the election system and notes that there is no constitutional or legislative authority for Minneapolis to collude with special interests in the administration of the neutral, public, statutory election apparatus. Doing so displaces the public and legislative control of the administration of elections, undermines and corrupts the critical services that the public relies on from the administration of its elections, they say.
In a teleconference announcing the lawsuits, Dan McGrath, communications director for the MVA made the following statement:
“We’ve had our work cut out for us in Minnesota, this year. I’ve never seen so many simultaneous efforts to undermine the integrity of our elections.
“We’ve been fighting for fairness on our absentee ballot boards and pushing back against numerous attempts to rewrite our election laws through unilateral action, judicial activism and consent decrees. Now we have to stand up to an astonishing attempt to use tremendous amounts of private money to influence the public administration of elections.
“I don’t think anyone would find it acceptable for the Republican Party or the Democrat Party to pay election officials to conduct an election, and this is no different. The Center for Tech and Civic Life is an ideological, agenda-driven organization providing money to election administrators to run elections in targeted areas the way the Center wants them run. The $3 million grant to the city of Minneapolis comes with strings attached. The money is to be spent on particular operations favored by the Center.
“Of course this is done for political advantage. Using private money to gain political advantage through government administration of elections is an absolute outrage that must not be allowed to proceed.”
Complaint MVA v. City of Minneapolis
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