Wisconsin delivers a victory for election integrity

While the majority of the country is focused on the November presidential election and the rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, voters in Wisconsin approved changes to the state constitution that could have significant ramifications for November.

Two ballot referendums, one that prohibits private funding for election offices and another that mandates that only designated government employees administer elections, were approved by voters in the Badger State and enshrined in the state constitution.

The referendums had been championed by Republicans in the state legislature who had sought to ban localities from using private grants to administer their elections. It is a matter that emerged after the 2020 election when Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated more than $300 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit group that offers grants to local election offices. The largest funding allocations went to swing states such as Wisconsin, with Democratic-leaning counties benefiting the most.

The results of the ballot referendum make Wisconsin the latest state to ban the “Zuckerbucks,” and for a highly competitive swing state that could determine the winner of the 2024 presidential election, the result will help raise confidence that the election process in the state has not been taken over by private actors.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Under no circumstances should a billionaire or a private organization be permitted to fund elections in the United States. As a public function, elections must be funded by government funds and administered by public officials. Any practice that allows a private entity to fund or influence the administration of an election in any way provides the impression that the electoral process could be tainted and controlled by that entity.

And for a state such as Wisconsin that could influence the final outcome of a national election, such an impression will severely damage public trust in the legitimacy of the government. The voters in the state did the right thing.

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