Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to not finance election administration again does not mean that the group to whom he and his wife donated $419 million of their money will no longer be funding it. The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), announced in April that it would be changing to a new model. According to Tianna Epps Johnson, CTCL Executive Director, the organization will spend $80 million over five years “to meet the needs of electoral departments across the country.”
Epps Johnson described the Alliance for Election Excellence as an independent collaboration of technologists and election officials working in all 50 states to improve electoral processes. The Alliance is funded by the Audacious Project at TED. The list of recipients for the Audacious Project 2021-2022 awards shows a clear left-wing bias.
The 2021-2022 recipients are The Center for Tech and Civic Life, ClimateWorks: Drive Electric, Code for America, Glasswing International, The International Refugee Assistance Project, myAgro, Noora Health, The Tenure Facility, and Woodwell Climate Research Center.
Epps Johnson’s mischaracterization could be due to left-wing blindness, which makes coalition members unaware of their biases. However, “non-partisan” is an inaccurate description. Epps Johnson was the election director of the New Organizing Institute (NOI) and an intern at the Obama Foundation. The CTCL, the successor organization to NOI, is an example of left-wing non-profits changing their names and keeping their leaders. The Alliance includes a clearly left-leaning organization.
The New Venture Fund was responsible for at most one of these groups: The 1630 Fund is a project that runs CSME Action, the group’s lobbying arm. Arabella advisors manage the network of non-profits that includes New Venture and 1630 Fund. Arabella Advisors is a network of nonprofits that funnels millions of dollars to left-leaning causes. The New York Times calls the firm a dark money organization.
Arabella Advisors in Washington manages an opaque network that funnels hundreds of millions of dollars through a chain of organizations supporting Democrats and progressive causes. Dark money is the system of political funding, which can often conceal the identities of donors. Arabella’s network, a leading conduit for it, is the most prominent vehicle on the left.
The Center for Civic Design supports automatic registration and all mail-in voting. It claims that bad ballot design favors Republicans. Whitney Queensbury and Dana Chisnell are co-founders. They hail from the Brennan Center as well as the Obama administration. It was also donated to CTCL.
The Elections Group is a partner with the CTCL, Center for Civic Design, and other groups such as the Vote At Home Project. It was created in 2020 to “help” election offices use alternative methods of voting during the pandemic. It provides guidance on how to process mail-in or absentee ballots, implement ballot drop boxes, signature verification, and the ballot curing process.
U.S. Digital Response was also established in 2020 to offer technical assistance. They worked with election offices to improve tools and provided CTCL with a template for a reusable website. The Zuckerbergs also provided funding. This collaboration is not non-partisan.
Many states have rewritten their pandemic-related electoral procedures by passing legislation after 2020. Many states also banned election offices from receiving outside funding or private grants. During the 2020 election, CTCL’s modus operandi provided grants with strings attached.
Jason Snead is the Executive Director of Honest Elections. The Alliance will distribute best practices, operating procedures, and templates to help election offices work around new laws. Grants are legal where they can still be considered. It is hoped to create a network of election officials, and influence how elections are managed through operational guidance.
Another group plans to fill local election offices with progressive candidates. After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, several Hillary Clinton staffers founded Run for Something. The organizers wanted to create a network of progressive candidates to fill state and local offices. The organization now aims to run 5,000 candidates in local elections that are responsible for election administration.
The “Clerk Work” program is equivalent to the Soros project in order to elect progressive district attorneys. Politico reports that Run for Something boasts a 42% win rate, and has supported 639 winners candidates since 2017. It will now be managing a list of elected officials that it can turn over to The Alliance for “operational direction”.
Run for Something works in coordination with other Democratic organizations on “Clerk Work.” Partners are American Bridge, a Democratic organization that compiles and shares opposition research, and Open Democracy PAC (a super PAC that spends on advertising to support these candidates).
Snead stated that these organizations were involved in credibility laundering. They engage in bipartisan groups and promote ostensibly Republican allies. Their funding and agenda, however, are clearly left-leaning.
On May 16, the Alliance closed its call for local elections offices to join. Even if you don’t live in a red area, it is time for your local election office to sign up and volunteer to serve the midterms. Although Mark Zuckerberg might not have given a dime, his 2020 donations helped to create the foundation these left-wing groups use today. This legacy is an important reason Republicans will play another insidious game called Election Integrity Whack-a-Mole in 2022 and 2024.