‘Zuckerbucks’ banned by Georgia lawmakers on legislative session’s last day

Conservative applaud the move, while progressives say election workers will be criminalized
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in 2019. ss, File)
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in 2019. ss, File)(Nick Wass | AP)
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:08 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Reaction was swift and fierce Wednesday only minutes after the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting counties from accepting outside funds to pay for elections.

Senate Bill 222 bans so-called “Zuckerbucks,” named after Facebook founder and Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In 2020, the DeKalb County board of elections accepted $2 million in grant money from the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence. The alliance is reportedly backed by the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which partnered with Zuckerberg to spend $45 million in Georgia elections.

Former U.S. senator Kelly Loeffler and her organization, Greater Georgia, applauded the bill’s passage while Fair Fight Action, an offshoot of Democrat Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight organization, condemned the move.

“Once again, conservative lawmakers have led the effort in Georgia to keep our elections secure, fair, and - most importantly - trusted,” Loeffler said. “Senate Bill 222 builds on previous law to ensure that our election operations are never bought and paid for by partisan or special interests. This critical measure levels the playing field for election boards across our state, and safeguards them from outside influence.”

“Make no mistake, DeKalb County attempted to kick the doors in on the state’s 2021 ban with its $2 million dollar get-out-the-vote grant for partisan voter turnout,” said Ken Cuccinelli, national chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General. “We urge state agencies currently investigating DeKalb County and the evasive maneuvers undertaken to circumvent the law, avert detection and punishment to ensure complete transparency by appropriately making their findings available to the public.”

“Fair Fight Action stands with election workers, county officials, and voting rights organizations statewide in opposition to SB 222,” said Executive Director Cianti Stewart-Reid. “We strongly condemn the passage of this bill, and remain fervently opposed to any and all legislation that seeks to criminalize election workers for trying to do their jobs. We call on Gov. Kemp to immediately veto this harmful bill, and to listen to counties and experts who actually have the best interests of election workers, local governments, voters, and Georgia elections at heart.”


Atlanta News First and Atlanta News First+ provide you with the latest news, headlines and insights as Georgia continues its role at the forefront of the nation’s political scene.