The Left’s Plot to Take Over Election Administration: U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence

Pierre Omidyar 1

by Fred Lucas at

The Left’s “Dark Money” Plot to Take Over Election Administration

U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence

In April, the same month Clerk Work was launched, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) Executive Director Tianna Epps-Johnson announced the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative would no longer be donating to CTCL to fund election administration after his donations prompted about two dozen states to ban similar private donations for running elections in the future. Not long after, Zuckerberg’s spokesperson confirmed he was out of the election-financing business.

Almost immediately, the center moved on to the next project.

Although the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is a coalition of left-leaning election “reform” groups, it was launched by CTCL, which became famous in 2020 for accepting $350 million from Zuckerberg to dole out to various election jurisdictions. Critics contend the supposed election safety grants did not go to personal protective equipment, but mostly for promoting mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes. An investigation by a Wisconsin special counsel appointed by the state House of Representatives produced a report finding that the funding led to an improper, government-sanctioned, get-out-the-vote campaign that favored Democrats.

Zuckerberg gave a total of $419 million for election administration grants, the bulk to CTCL, and the rest to the Center for Election Innovation and Research.

There was little doubt where the CTCL stood before Zuckerberg made the donations. The center was founded in 2012 by Tiana Epps-Johnson, Donny Bridges, and Whitney May, who previously worked together at the New Organizing Institute, which the Washington Post referred to as “the Democratic Party’s Hogwarts of digital wizardry.”

Another key member is the Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME), which is a front group for the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) arm of the Arabella Advisors network. Arabella Advisors sponsors a vast network of left-leaning organizations, primarily through the 501(c)(3) New Venture Fund and the 501(c)(4) Sixteen Thirty Fund. Many of these organizations are pop-up organizations that exist for the duration of an election cycle while others spin off to become independent nonprofits.

The alliance—an $80 million, five-year initiative—opened applications for local election offices to get training for at least two years on the election process and be certified “U.S. Centers for Election Excellence” upon completion.

In the “Frequently Asked Questions” portion of the website—perhaps recalling the criticism over the Zuckerberg money—the alliance says it will give “guidance and resources” to election officials criticized for accepting the national money.

“As part of the alliance, centers will receive training, mentorship, and resources, and serve as a support system for each other and election departments across the country,” the website says.

Local election officials are the expert on what their voters need, and the alliance will work with each center to fill in the gaps. This could look like redesigning a form so it’s more likely a voter will successfully complete it or updating an election website so it is mobile-friendly and answers voters’ top questions.


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