Wisconsin's Walworth County has become the first local government in the state to ban the acceptance of private monies or grants for use in the administration of elections.
Approval of the measure came after 16 states enacted legislation to ban or regulate the acceptance and use of private funds by public election officials. Good-government advocates have been incensed that a Mark Zuckerberg-funded activist group, the left-wing Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), flooded election offices in Democratic Party strongholds with millions of dollars in an apparent effort to drive up voter turnout for that party in 2020.
"This is a win for Wisconsin voters," said Erick Kaardal, whose public interest law firm, the Thomas More Society, takes partial credit for the new ban. The Thomas More Society represented the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, which worked with cities and counties on ordinances that specifically ban the acceptance of private funds in elections, he said.
The county had to act because the Wisconsin Election Commission and the state's executive branch have refused to bar private money from election administration, Kaardal said. This means "the burden has fallen upon cities and counties to protect themselves from outside interference by illegal money sources," he said.
"The people understand that the right to vote is a cornerstone of a free society and that the biased intervention of those who want to influence the outcome with their dirty dollars is not to be tolerated," Kaardal added.
The governor has been on the wrong side of the issue, he said.
"Despite a plethora of condemning evidence documenting and verifying rampant election improprieties, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has vetoed the corrective election legislation that has been passed," Kaardal said in a statement.
Evers was dismissive of the legislation, saying the vetoed measures were "passed under the guise of needing to reform our election system because elected officials in this state have enabled disinformation about our elections and elections process."
Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling criticized Evers, saying, "It's clear the governor didn't even bother to read these bills and wants to lump any election reform as a conspiracy theory."
According to Kaardal, Wisconsin's election bribery law, Wisconsin Statutes section 12.11, already forbids municipal clerks from receiving money to increase in-person and absentee ballot opportunities within the municipality. Walworth County's ban on private grants or donations earmarked for elections is consistent with Wisconsin Statutes section 12.11, he said.
The complaint alleges that the city's acceptance of money from CTCL to selectively facilitate in-person and absentee voting and to purchase and place absentee ballot drop boxes constitutes bribery and is contrary to Wisconsin's election bribery law and other state and federal laws.
Evers's office didn't respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.