In Louisiana’s statewide election yesterday, voters considered a referendum to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit the use of private or foreign funding for state and local election administration. The measure passed by a wide margin, 72.6% to 27.4%.
In the wake of activities of the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) during recent elections, such private giving has given rise to questions and concerns about its potentially political motive and effect. CTCL has been substantially supported by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, along with other major liberal and progressive mega-givers.
The specific ballot question was: “Do you support an amendment to prohibit the use of funds, goods, or services from a foreign government or a nongovernmental source to conduct elections and election functions and duties unless the use is authorized by the secretary of state through policies established in accordance with law?”
Louisiana law does not currently contain provisions regarding the use of any non-governmental funds for election administration.
This article originally appeared in the Giving Review on October 15, 2023.