Most of Biden’s vote margin gain in Georgia came from counties that got $15 M from Zuckerberg-funded ‘Safe Elections’ project

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ATLANTA, GA – Things are not looking so peachy in Georgia. Three counties received $15.8 million in “safe elections” grants from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL).

Those same counties also accounted for 168,703 of Biden’s 221,751 vote margin gain, or 76 percent.

The grants Cobb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties received represent a little over four percent of the funding provided by Zuckerberg through CTCL to county and city election departments throughout the country this year, according to Breitbart. In October, the news organization reported:

“Executives at the CTCL, a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Chicago, founded in 2015 by Tiana Epps-Johnson, who served from 2012 to 2015 as the election administration director…”

“… for the New Organizing Institute, a progressive non-profit the Washington Post, referred to in 2014 as ‘the Democratic Party’s Hogwarts for digital wizardry,’ say they are just trying to help overwhelm election commissions around the country and have no preference for big city Democrats over rural Republicans.”

However, an analysis by the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society portrayed a much different story. Since Sept. 1, the CTCL has made at least $63.7 million in grants to election commissions in 18 counties and two cities for what the CTCL calls the coronavirus “safe elections” project.

Over 99.5 percent of this funding — $63.4 million — went to election commissions in 17 counties and two cities won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Less than one half of one percent of the funding — a mere $289,000 — went to a county Donald Trump won in 2016, Hays County, Texas, which the President barely won by a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, according to Breitbart.

Interestingly, Breitbart also reported that a major portion of these grants — more than $13.9 million — went to election commissions in areas Hillary Clinton won with more than 80 percent of the vote.

$10 million went to the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, which Clinton won with 84 percent of the vote, $3.5 million went to Wayne County, Michigan, which Clinton won with 96 percent of the vote, and $467,000 went to the election commission in the city of Flint, Michigan, which Clinton won with 84 percent of the vote.

In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Georgia by 211,141 votes: 2,089,104 versus 1,877,963, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s election website.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting as of Nov. 10, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is currently leading Donald Trump by 12,291 votes: 2,469,353 to 2,457,062, according to CBS News as of this writing.

Critics say CTCL’s project grants look more like Democratic “Get-Out-The-Vote” (GOTV) efforts in major U.S. cities than good government efforts to protect the integrity of the electoral process of all Americans, regardless of their party affiliations.

In September, the Rome News-Tribune reported that Cobb County’s Election Department was recently awarded a $5.6 million grant from a national nonprofit, The Center for Tech and Civic Life, and provided a breakdown of how funds would be used:

“The Center for Tech and Civic Life grant will help pay for:

“Almost 700 partitioned, secure voting system carriers to house the 2,258 ballot marking devices and optical scanners at all polling locations.

“Hazard pay for roughly 2,300 workers at a rate of $100 per worker, per election.

“Additional temporary employees who will help prepare, process and tabulate absentee-by-mail ballots.

“Ballot mailing.

“Advertising to promote absentee and early voting.

“Cleaning of polling locations.

“Plastic shields and hand-sanitizing dispensers.”

Cobb County’s Election Department Head Janine Eveler applied for the grant and stated in her application that the June 9 primary was affected by a number of difficulties, both technical and pandemic-related:

“We faced logistical challenges in delivery and set-up of a new voting system that contains four times the number of components as the former system.

“As a result of the COVID pandemic, we lost hundreds of poll workers and experienced challenges in conducting adequate poll worker training to those remaining workers.

“Polls were understaffed and many brand-new replacement workers received limited online training without the benefit of hands-on work with the new system.

“These COVID-related challenges were particularly felt in areas of the county that serve diverse populations and resulted in long lines and extended voting hours.”

In September, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Fulton County’s Election Department received a $6 million grant from CTCL.

In October, the Journal Constitution reported that Gwinnett County commissioners accepted a $4.1 million grant from CTCL “intended to be used for elections security.”

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Ballotpedia reported that CTCL contributed millions for “safe elections” in these five Georgia counties: $5.6 million (Cobb County); $300,000 (Dougherty County); $6 million (Fulton County); $4.2 million (Gwinnett County); and $557,000 (Macon-Bibb County).

Those same counties had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to Breitbart.

At the end of its report, Ballotpedia provided three perspectives on whether elections should be privately funded:

“Some of the discussion around the Zuckerberg grants to local election officials centers around whether it is a good idea for private interests to get involved in funding public elections.

“Tom Speaker, a policy analyst for ‘Reinvent Albany,’ which is a generally progressive organization, said, ‘Our view is that elections should be funded by the state instead of private interests.’ He said that private election funding raises the potential for a conflict of interest and ‘undermines public trust in the system.’

“David Becker is the executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. This group received $50 million in Zuckerberg money.

“He said, ‘Plan A should always be that government pays to provide the infrastructure for our democracy…But we are in unusual times right now. State budgets are particularly strained. Congress has refused to act. And it’s not like we can delay the election.’

“Tom Brejcha, president of the Thomas More Society, a conservative pro bono law firm said, ‘This partisan privatization of our elections can’t stand.’”

 

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