Mississippi joins states limiting outside election funding

Apr 4, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: 4:01 pm

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is the latest Republican-led state to ban election offices from accepting donations from private groups for voting operations — a movement fueled by conservatives’ suspicion of donations by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2020.

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed House Bill 1365 on Friday, and it will become law July 1. It says state or local officials who conduct elections cannot solicit or accept donations from any private group for “voter education, voter outreach or voter registration programs.”

Reeves said in a video posted to Facebook on Monday that he was “deeply disturbed by big tech’s attempt to influence the 2020 elections.”

“Whether it was their attempt to silence conservative voices or suppress information they don’t agree with, California’s technology elites will stop at nothing to push their woke ideology on the American people,” Reeves said. “Our elections cannot be left up to billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, especially when groups like Facebook systematically silence conservative voices on their platforms.”

Republicans control the Mississippi House and Senate. The final version of the bill passed the Senate 49-2 with bipartisan support. It passed the House 78-38 with opposition from Democrats.

Jessica Anderson is executive director of the conservative Heritage Action For America, which has pushed for such bans. She said in a statement Monday that the new law will prohibit the use of “Zuck Bucks.”

“Mississippians deserve to have fair elections free from the outside influence of Big Tech billionaires,” Anderson said.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Patricia Chan, donated $400 million for elections operations across the U.S. in 2020 as officials were trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life distributed grants to 2,500 election offices nationwide. The money was spent in a wide variety of ways — protective gear for poll workers, public education campaigns promoting new methods to vote during the pandemic, and new trucks to haul voting equipment.

Louisiana’s Republican attorney general in 2020 ordered his state’s election offices to reject grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which distributed $350 million of the Zuckerberg money.

By 2021, at least eight Republican-led states had passed bans on private donations to elections offices. South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed a ban in March.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
5 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
13 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
13 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
20 days ago
A young bison calf stands in a pond with its herd at Bull Hollow, Okla., on Sept. 27, 2022. The cal...
Associated Press

US aims to restore bison herds to Native American lands after near extinction

U.S. officials will work to restore more large bison herds to Native American lands under a Friday order from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
20 days ago
Children play in a dried riverbed in Flassans-sur-Issole, southern France, Wednesday, March 1, 2023...
Associated Press

Italy, France confront 2nd year of western Europe drought

ROME (AP) — Bracing for Italy’s second consecutive year of drought for the first time in decades, Premier Giorgia Meloni huddled with ministers Wednesday to start mapping out an action plan Wednesday, joining France and other nations in western Europe grappling with scant winter rain and snow. Meloni and her ministers decided to appoint an […]
22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Mississippi joins states limiting outside election funding