Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is trying to have a case against her 2020 actions dismissed. The case involves millions of ‘Zuckerbucks’ that were dispersed across the state.
MLive reports on the Michigan lawsuit.
Attorneys for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office on Dec. 17 asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging millions in private donations to local election clerks, much of it from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, damaged the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and violated the law…
…The 2020 election did give rise to something that’s never been seen before in Michigan: private grant money being injected into local election operations.
Up until 2020, election operations have always been funded by government budgets or grants.
But in the 2020 cycle, unknown millions in private grant money from a Chicago-based nonprofit called the Center for Tech and Civic Life was doled out directly to township and village election clerks to spend on a wide variety of apolitical election needs.
The nonprofit received nearly $400 million in donations from Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, which was spent on nearly 2,500 elections across the nation.
The Secretary of State’s (SOS’s) office claims the only reason for the lawsuits related to the 2020 Election is for publicity. The SOS’s position is that the funds were dispersed evenly across the state and the rationale for the funds made sense. But those filing the lawsuit disagree.
Some voters in Livingston, Macomb and Oakland counties, however, believe the grants were partisan. They filed a lawsuit against Benson in October of 2020 and filed an updated complaint on Sept. 29.
“During the 2020 general election, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson allowed private, progressive organizations to orchestrate a targeted get-out-the-vote effort through state actors, overseeing the payment of tens of millions of private funds to local Michigan election jurisdictions in predominantly Democrat precincts,” the amended complaint said. “Under Secretary Benson, Michigan election officials in predominantly Democrat jurisdictions thus received infusions of private funds that were earmarked specifically for, inter alia, printing and distributing absentee and mail-in ballots and adding remote, unattended drop-boxes for mail-in and absentee ballots.
The lawsuit alleges the funds were distributed disproportionately to Democrat-leaning communities. It cites a total of at least $5.9 million awarded to Wayne County and Detroit, $3.5 million; Flint, $467,625; Ann Arbor, $417,000; Lansing, $443,000; Muskegon, $433,589; Saginaw, $402,878; Kalamazoo, 218,869; East Lansing, $8,500.
The lawsuit also went after drop boxes placed throughout the state before the 2020 Election.
The lawsuit takes specific aim at ballot boxes, which are regulated by law in Michigan.
“Because state law provides for public provision of ballot containers, buying ballot boxes with private money is illegal,” the lawsuit said. “This is especially so when privately funded ballot boxes do not comply with Michigan’s requirements for securing ballots.”
The reason those suing the SOS have issues with drop boxes is that:
“The use of remote unattended ballot dropboxes may result in the rejection of lawfully cast ballots by Michigan voters or in ballots being cast by individuals or organizations not legally entitled to cast a ballot,” the lawsuit said.
Finally, those suing the SOS have problems with the ‘non-profit’ funding the drop boxes across Michigan:
The lawsuit alleges the Center for Tech and Civic life, despite its non-partisan claims, is in fact a progressive organization focused on increasing liberal voter turnout. Three of its founders previously worked for the New Organizing Institute, described as the “left’s think tank for campaign know how,” by the Washington Post, the lawsuit said.
The Center for Tech and Civic Life “is not a ‘nonpartisan’ organization interested in increasing participation in elections generally,” the complaint said. “Rather (the Center for Tech and Civic Life) is an activist organization, managed and operated by former Democratic party operatives that promote the election of Democrat candidates, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, among other activities by funding ‘get-out-the-vote’ efforts through money paid to election officials in Democrat precincts.”
The Center for Tech and Civic Life on its website names among its “key funders and partners”: Facebook, Google, the Democracy Fund, created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Rock the Vote, the Knight Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
See recent filing requesting the case be dismissed below:
We’ve reported on Benson before.