Mississippi Gov. Reeves signs election integrity law banning Zuckerberg-like donations

Legislation aims to prevent any agency, or state or local official from accepting private funds for election-related expenses.

Updated: April 5, 2022 - 4:35pm

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed legislation which aims to prevent any agency, or state or local official from accepting private funds for election-related expenses. The law goes into effect July 1.

“Like so many across Mississippi and the United States, I was deeply disturbed by big tech’s attempt to influence the 2020 elections,” Reeves said Monday night in a post on his Facebook page. “Whether it was their attempt to silence conservative voices or suppress information they don’t agree with, California’s technology elite will stop at nothing to push their woke ideology on the American people.

“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. Citizens must be able to trust election results. Voters must be able to have full confidence their vote is properly counted and represented. This can’t happen without faith in our institutions.”

The law extends to banning private funds being used for voter education, voter outreach, or voter registration programs, according to the release, and for any purposes related to election efforts.

Reeves said the state’s elections “cannot be left up to billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg” and “groups like Facebook” who “systematically silence conservative voices on their platforms.”

“Across the country, Zuckerberg alone injected over $400 million in specifically chosen counties in an attempt to impact how elections were run on the local level,” Reeves said. “Right here in Mississippi we even saw multiple indictments are a product of corruption that stemmed from his funding.

“We won’t allow our elections to be controlled by 20- or 30-somethings sitting in Silicon Valley cubicles who wouldn’t care less about our state or our people,” Reeves said. “Our policies and decisions will reflect the desires of Mississippians not vague entities that attempt to skirt the democratic process of our Constitution for their own gains.”

The law prevents the solicitation, acceptance, use or disposal of “any donation in the form of money, grants, property or personal services” from any individual or nongovernment entity “for the purpose of funding election-related expenses,” the law reads.

However, the law does permit an individual to contribute personal time to assist with voter education, registration and other election-related programs provided there is no compensation received or any in-kind donation taking place.

“Corporations and special interest groups have no role in determining how our elections are run, how our candidates are elected, and who our voters cast their ballots for,” Reeves said. “We see corruption for when people without morals meet opportunity. The vast injections of immense sums of money without oversight is harmful to our system and presents ample opportunities for further misuse of funds. This bill marks a tremendous step forward in ensuring election integrity in our state.”

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