Wisconsin Poised To Ban Private Funding From State Elections

Concerns about voter fraud have spread far and wide in the years since the 2020 election, with one major focus being on undue influence by private entities.

Thus far, more than half of all states have implemented either outright bans or serious limitations on the impact that private grants can have in the election process, and Wisconsin voters will soon have the opportunity to make that state the latest to do so. 

A pair of proposed constitutional amendments will be put up for a vote in an upcoming statewide election that, if approved, would limit the oversight of elections to only legally authorized officials. The ballot initiative passed through the state legislature without the support of even one Democrat.

While leftist opponents of the measures claim they would make it harder for Democrats to compete in the battleground state, supporters on the right insist such changes are necessary to ensure election integrity. In addition to Republican state lawmakers, a number of influential conservative organizations are also advocating for the amendments.

Money stemming from a grant by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, has funded a number of efforts through the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which prompted the ongoing effort in Wisconsin. 

State Sen. Eric Wimberger was a co-author of the measures and expressed his belief that they are crucial steps toward reducing the impact of special interest groups in the outcome of Wisconsin elections.

“People need to trust that elections are conducted fairly and impartially,” he said. “Isconsin’s status as a swing state makes election integrity measures important locally, nationally and internationally.” 

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty Policy Director Kyle Koenen also argued in favor of the amendment, explaining: “In the interest of upholding fairness and safeguarding the integrity of our democratic process, it is essential to maintain a nonpartisan electoral system that is free from external financial influences.”

Leftist groups, on the other hand, clearly do not want to lose the influence of Zuckerberg and other wealthy benefactors.

“These proposals, under the guise of protecting our elections, are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to restrict voting rights and undermine the very foundations of our democratic system,” claimed Sam Liebert of the advocacy group All Voting Is Local Action Wisconsin.

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