South Dakota’s governor on March 16 signed legislation into law that bans government entities from accepting outside funding to run elections.
Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, said the bill was necessary because of how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated some $350 million ahead of the 2020 election to various organizations, which funneled the money to state and local officials to run the election in certain ways.
Wisconsin Special Counsel Michael Gableman asserted in a recent report that what unfolded in his state amounted to “election bribery” because cities that accepted the grants were forced to abide by conditions set by the grantee, an intermediary for Zuckerberg’s money called the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL).
South Dakota Senate Bill 122 takes aim at such outside spending, mandating all costs relating to an election be paid by the county through appropriated funds that come only from the government, except for gifts of a “nominal and intrinsic value.”