A voting integrity group, led by former GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler, is demanding transparency regarding $5.6 million donated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the Georgia secretary of state’s office last year that was spent on the hotly contested 2020 presidential election.
Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan spent a total of $45 million in Georgia during the 2020 election cycle, which included the January 2021 Senate runoff, and a watchdog group reported in June that it noticeably boosted Democrat turnout in the Peach State.
The Foundation for Government Accountability contends the grant money, given through the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), in Georgia and across the country was heavily weighted toward Democratic-leaning counties. While billed as election safety grants during the coronavirus pandemic, only a small portion in any of the states the foundation examined was used for personal protective equipment.
The CTCL gave about four times more in the Zuckerberg-financed grants to blue counties in Georgia as it gave to red counties, according to the FGA analysis.
For the 2020 election, the CTCL gave about $29 million in grants to Georgia counties that Biden won, with a rate of $7.13 per registered voter. By contrast, the center gave $2.3 million in grants — averaging $1.91 per registered voter — to counties that Trump won. The counties getting the most in the lead-up to the presidential election were Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb.
"The Zuckerberg funding is an unprecedented example of using government employees and government resources to put your finger on the scale, to affect the election outcome," Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, told Fox News. "It would be like giving private money to police departments to have officers do more stop and frisk in certain neighborhoods compared to other neighborhoods. It would be like giving money to the tax department to do increased audits in certain zip codes or neighborhoods versus other neighborhoods."
Overall, Zuckerberg spent $350 million in the leadup to the 2020 election.
"When our nation’s election infrastructure faced unprecedented challenges last year due to the pandemic and the federal government failed to provide adequate funds, Mark and Priscilla provided funding to two non-partisan organizations that helped cities and states ensure that residents could vote regardless of their party or preference," a Chan Zuckerberg family spokesperson told Fox News in a statement.
"The grants to CTCL and CEIR were made in full compliance with the law. CTCL and CEIR issued an open call to state and local jurisdictions across the country and provided funding for all jurisdictions that applied. Nearly 2,500 election jurisdictions from 49 states applied for and received funds, including urban, suburban, rural, and exurban counties (states publicly listed here and local jurisdictions publicly listed here) – and more Republican than Democratic jurisdictions applied for and received the funds."
Fox News' Fred Lucas contributed to this report
EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this story claimed a lawsuit had been filed to seek transparency. It had not.