Senate Passes Legislation To Prevent Private, Outside Funding Of Government Election Operations

By Brianna Hamilton

PHOENIX – On Wednesday, the Arizona State Senate passed HB 2569, legislation targeting the Big Tech companies that targeted swing states during the 2020 election cycle. The bill sponsored by Rep. Jake Hoffman prohibits government entities from receiving private monies to conduct elections.

The vote fell along party lines, with Republicans supporting the bill and all Democrats voting against it.

“Nearly half a billion dollars in private funding was spent by out of state Democrat billionaires to influence the administration of county and state elections operations nationally, including millions here in Arizona,” said Hoffman referring to entities like the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), which spent in the neighborhood of $1.4 million to influence the election in 2018 and over $350 million in 2020.

Critics note that CTCL received millions from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife to change the way local elections offices conducted the election. According to the Capital Research Center, CTCL spent $5 million in Arizona, $3 million of which went to Maricopa County, which election integrity supporters say essentially decided the state’s election.

“The Arizona legislature doesn’t want billionaires from any Party, or of any kind, attempting to influence our election system,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman argues that his bill is “common sense legislation that will ensure Arizona’s elections are free from outside influence and that our voters can have confidence in the integrity of the process. The passage of this bill is a win for Arizona and a win for America, as I fully expect other states to follow suit in prohibiting this deeply troubling new Democrat tactic.”

“Even the appearance of impropriety in elections is dangerous,” said Arizona Free Enterprise Club President Scot Mussi. “Elections should be funded, directed, and guided by state governments, not private organizations and especially not Big Tech. The Club commends the Senate for passing HB2569 and urges Governor Ducey to sign this important bill to protect the integrity of our elections.”

“Arizonans have the right to know their elections are being run without outside influence, and Gov. Ducey should promptly sign the bill into law,” said Jessica Anderson, Executive Director of Heritage Action.

The House of Representatives previously approved HB 2569 on March 3. It will now be sent to Governor Ducey for his signature.

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The near-universal effect of CTCL’s grants was disproportionately greater turnout for one political party. Here’s how it broke down in Arizona, comparing the votes for president in 2020 versus 2016. All 15 counties increased their votes for both parties, but not at all equally. And both parties saw their votes increase even more in the nine counties CTCL funded than the six counties it did not. Here especially the results were unequal.

For the Republicans, the funded counties’ votes increased by 46% more than the rate at which unfunded counties increased. For Democrats, funded counties’ votes skyrocketed upwards 81% more quickly than they rose in unfunded counties.

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