GOP Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey enacted a law that prevents private funding for government elections in his state.
“With public election confidence in danger, it is clear our elections must be above reproach — and the sole purpose of government,” Ducey said.
Ducey’s law comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $419 million to two nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Election Innovation and Research, that funded election management leading up to the 2020 elections. The money was slammed by conservatives and ended in lawsuits that said federal law prevents local officials from accepting private money for such programs.
Zuckerberg said at the time of the announcement that “many states and counties are strapped financially and trying to determine how to fund and staff operations that will let ballots be cast and counted in a prompt way.”
Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Secretary of State, used $4.8 million from the funds for voting causes both before and after the November election.
Democrats in Arizona blamed the underfunding of election management on the GOP, with one DNC lawmaker saying the state was forced to accept donations from Zuckerberg.
“It is easy to turn billionaires into boogeymen. But we got ourselves into this spot,” state Senator Juan Mendez, a Tempe Democrat, said. “Our election administration is so underfunded that we have counties asking for money to do voter outreach.”
The bill succeeded along party lines in both the Arizona House and Senate, with the governor signing it into law on Friday.
Author: Blake Ambrose