by Mark Niesse at ajc.com
New law criminalizes accepting election money from nonprofits
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a ban on donations to county election offices Wednesday, making it a felony for local governments to accept money from nonprofit organizations that gave millions of dollars during the 2020 presidential election.
Limiting outside election money became a priority among Republicans in Georgia and across the country after the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which was funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, contributed more than $400 million to election offices nationwide during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. About $45 million of that money was given to local election offices in Georgia.
Georgia is the 24th state since the 2020 election to adopt a law to prohibit, limit or regulate private funding to run elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“Senate Bill 222 builds on previous law to ensure that our election operations are never bought and paid for by partisan or special interests,” said former Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, founder of the voter registration organization Greater Georgia. “This critical measure levels the playing field for election boards across our state and safeguards them from outside influence.”read more