Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google, and other big tech companies sued for election meddling and interference in 4 battleground states
Voters in four battleground states of MI, MN, PA, and WI have filed lawsuits in federal courts to prevent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google, and other big tech companies from funneling millions of dollars to influence the outcome of the presidential election on November 3.
In a press statement released by the Amistad Project, the group alleges that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google, and other big tech are funneling millions of dollars through the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.
CTCL claims to be “a team of civic technologists, trainers, researchers, election administration and data experts working to foster a more informed and engaged democracy and helping to modernize the U.S. elections,” according to the information provided on its website.
On September 1, 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $250 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life. Shortly after, CTCL stated its plans to regrant the money to local election jurisdictions across the United States to help them process mailed-in ballots and meet sanitation requirements imposed on polling stations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, according to the lawsuits, the plaintiffs claim that the use of the funds violates a federal law known as the Help America Vote Act, which prohibits local governments from accepting private federal election grants without state legislative approval and results in government playing favorites in the election process.
The plaintiffs also claimed that CTCL has used the funds to issue “grants” to local municipal governments, which are allocating them to fund election activities. “These efforts are intentionally targeting Democratic strongholds for the purpose of boosting voter turnout in those areas that delivered overwhelming majorities for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election in a clear effort to sway the statewide 2020 elections,” the complaints said.
Phill Kline, the Director of the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, representing the voters in the four federal lawsuits, said in a statement:
“Government cannot be in the business of playing favorites in elections. These targeted funds pay government officials to turn out the vote in blue jurisdictions while the governors in these states are making it difficult and actually discouraging in-person voting on Election Day in more conservative areas of the states,” explained Phill Kline, the Director of the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, representing the voters in the four federal lawsuits. “Government targeting Democrat portions of a state to increase voter turnout, while also targeting Republican areas of the state to make it harder to vote, violates the basic premise of American jurisprudence that we are all equal before the law,” he added.
According to the complaints, the CTCL funds are being used for equipment for mail-in and absentee voting; satellite election offices for in-person mail-in voting; in-person voting at polling places on Election Day; dropboxes, in some cases hundreds of them, for hand-delivering mail-in ballots without U.S. postmarks; and voter registration programs. In Michigan alone, the precincts that receive funds from CTCL may have up to a $100 to $1 funding advantage over precincts that rely on Michigan Election Commission funds alone to help manage their elections.
“While Mark Zuckerberg can use his private funds to help voters, these city and county officials can’t use the funds from CTCL to favor a certain class of voters over another. America has a dark history of voter suppression before the Voting Rights Act became law. This rigging of the game is the other side of that same coin,” Kline concluded.
Cumulatively, CTCL has thus far “granted” nearly $26 million to the defendant cities and counties, which had cast nearly 76% of their over 2.5 million combined total votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016. President Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes, Minnesota by 44,593 votes, Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes, and Wisconsin by 22,748 votes that year.