Wisconsin Bill Targets Unequal Private Funding of Elections, A Major Concern in 2020

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Abill passed this week by the Wisconsin State Assembly would forbid local municipalities from accepting private funds for election management, directing those funds to pass through the state government and be equitably distributed throughout Wisconsin.

The measure is a response to ongoing concerns over the millions in private election funding poured into the state by the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a Chicago-based nonprofit heavily funded by Facebook co-founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Passed largely on party-line votes in both the state House and Senate, the bill is likely to be nixed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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Governor Lee Signs Bill into Law that Prohibits Outside Funding to Elections Without Legislative Speakers’ Consent

A new Tennessee law makes outside funding to state and local election officials an exception to the rule. Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law last week – it ensures that select elected officials review all outside funding, if any. It would also enable the public to access information on those outside funds through open records. 

This law will apply to both the state and county-level election commissions, the secretary of state, county administrators of elections, and the coordinator of elections. Only combined approval from the state House and Senate speakers would enable state election officials to accept funding from private individuals, corporations, organizations, or political parties. As for county election commissions and administrators of elections, outside funding must be approved by the secretary of state or one of their designees. 

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Tennessee Senate Passes Bill Regulating Election Funding from Individuals, Businesses, Corporations, or Political Parties

Wednesday morning, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill to regulate funding for conducting local and state elections. SB 1534/HB 966 would require funds from private individuals, businesses, and corporations to receive approval from various elected state officials.

State Representative Michele Carringer (R-Knoxville) and State Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) are the sponsors on the legislation. 

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