BATON ROUGE, La. – In a recent election, Louisiana became the latest state to enact a constitutional amendment that prohibits the use of private funds, often referred to as “Zuckerbucks,” in public election administration. This decision comes in the wake of a similar legislative effort that was vetoed by the Democratic governor.
During the recent election, voters cast their ballots for a range of statewide offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state treasurer. Additionally, voters decided on four ballot measures.
One of the ballot measures focused on whether the state should disallow the use of external funding for elections “from a foreign government or a nongovernmental source” unless authorized by the secretary of state, as per policies established by law. Presently, Louisiana does not have such policies in place.
An overwhelming majority of 72.6% of voters supported the ban on “Zuckerbucks,” while 27.4% voted against it.
The “Zuckerbucks” reference pertains to funds provided by the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), totaling nearly $350 million, which were distributed to local election offices during the 2020 election. These funds were primarily contributed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg through the CTCL. The nonprofit organization has argued that these grants, colloquially known as “Zuckerbucks,” were allocated without partisan bias and aimed to enhance the safety of voting during the pandemic.