Louisiana Moves To Block ‘Zuck Bucks’ Private Election Funding

The integrity of the electoral process is a cornerstone of American democracy, and Louisiana is taking a firm stand to ensure its preservation. In a bid to maintain transparency and fairness in its electoral process, the state’s House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment proposal, HB 311. The bill, if enacted, would prevent the use of private funding, goods, or services in conducting elections.

The approval of the amendment proposal, with a 70-30 majority, signals the conservative viewpoint that our elections should not be unduly influenced by big tech or other private interests. As Louisiana voters potentially see this proposal on their ballots in the October 14 elections, they’ll weigh in on whether the state should join the ranks of the 25 others who have already legislated against such private influences.

Private funding, often termed “Zuck Bucks,” referring to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s controversial financing of local election offices, has increased during recent election cycles. This injection of private funding raised eyebrows as it disproportionately benefited Democrat-majority counties, raising concerns about the potential for election manipulation.

Here’s a report from last year about Zuckerberg’s massive donations pointed at influencing elections:

Following the receipt of approximately $1.1 million in Zuck Bucks in 2020, Louisiana is choosing to reinforce the impartiality of its elections. This move signifies a broader sentiment within conservative circles, which argue for a level playing field, free from external interference.

However, as the restrictions grow, the tactics used by these groups have adapted. For example, the Honest Elections Project and the John Locke Foundation exposed how the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, funded by left-wing nonprofits, attempts to manipulate this system. As part of its strategy, the Alliance offers “scholarships” to election offices to buy services, effectively circumventing private funding bans.

Yet, Honest Elections Project executive director Jason Snead highlighted an essential truth. He explained that even in states where Zuck Bucks are restricted, organizations like the Alliance attempt to spread their influence by offering a route for election offices to “buy their way [into the Alliance] for a relatively small sum.” These tactics underscore a concerning pattern of the potential exploitation of election offices in their struggle to maintain independence.

Louisiana’s commitment to ban private funding is not isolated. Currently, 24 states have enacted similar restrictions, taking steps to safeguard the sovereignty of their electoral process. The battle against private funding influence is a nationwide cause.

Yet, critics of the Alliance’s strategy highlight the purported systematic influence on every aspect of election administration. Moreover, this manipulation goes beyond a simple injection of funds, extending to “legal” and “political” consulting to public relations and recruitment guidance. Essentially, as the Honest Elections Project’s report suggests, the Alliance’s tactics aim to infuse left-leaning ideologies into the very fiber of local election offices.

However, it’s important to note that these moves are present. Like its conservative counterparts, Louisiana is actively working to ensure its electoral process remains impartial and free from manipulative influences. The passage of HB 311 is more than a legislative maneuver—it’s a testament to the state’s commitment to a genuinely democratic process.