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Madison Spent ‘Zuckbucks 2.0’ Funds Right Before Wisconsinites Outlawed Them

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A Madison, Wisconsin official admitted the city’s recent decision to spend a $1.5 million “Zuckbucks” grant was based on the chance that voters would pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting its use. Wisconsinites approved such a measure during the state’s primary elections on Tuesday.

Madison City Attorney Mike Haas revealed to a local NBC affiliate on Wednesday that the city — which sits in a county Joe Biden won by more than 52 points during the 2020 election — “used most of the nearly $1.5 million in private grant money at its disposal to purchase a new machine to process absentee ballots.” Madison originally accepted the monies from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) in January 2023 for “planning and operating safe and secure elections,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

During the 2020 election season, CTCL received hundreds of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. These “Zuckbucks” were poured into local election offices in battleground states around the country to change how elections were administered.

Among other things, these funds went to help expand unsupervised election protocols including mail-in voting and the use of ballot drop boxes. To make matters worse, the grants were heavily skewed toward Democrat-majority counties, essentially making it a massive, privately funded Democrat get-out-the-vote operation.

Madison received the $1.5 million grant as part of its membership with the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, a five-year, $80 million venture launched by CTCL in 2022 that’s designed to “systematically influence every aspect of election administration” and advance Democrat-backed voting practices in local election offices.

Speaking with the NBC outlet, Haas confirmed that a constitutional amendment proposal appearing on the state’s April 2 primary ballot — which bars the acceptance and use of private monies to administer elections — factored into the city’s decision to spend the CTCL funds in the weeks before Tuesday’s election.

“To eliminate any questions about whether or not it could be spent in that way, the city made sure that the funds were spent before the election,” Haas said.

The measure ultimately passed, with preliminary results showing 54.4 percent of electors voting “yes” and 45.6 percent voting “no.” Dane County — which includes Madison — was one of the few localities to disapprove of the measure, with 69 percent of electors opposing and 31 percent supporting.

During the 2020 election cycle, nine of CTCL’s 10 “largest per capita grants” in Wisconsin “went to cities which Biden won,” according to the Capital Research Center. Madison received the fifth most per capita, behind Racine, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Milwaukee, respectively.


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