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Election integrity revelation: Detroit bragged that use of Zuckerberg funding ‘created a new normal’

The Department of Elections reported that what it was most proud of in its allocation of its $7.4 million grant was that it "allowed us to hire more quality staff because we were able to pay them more."

Updated: May 13, 2021 - 10:43am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

In Detroit's report on the $7.4 million in grants it received from the Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL), a voter advocacy organization funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the city said that a new normal had been created with how the election was run in 2020.

"We created a new expectation for the public, because we significantly increased the number of ways [a] voter can vote," reported the city's Department of Elections in the CTCL grant report, obtained by Just the News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

"We have created a new normal in terms of how voters expect to vote in the City of Detroit," reads the report. "The funding structure established must be preserved for future elections. We are requesting grant funds for the current year."

The grant reporting form includes a questionnaire. One of the questions is: "What did you do with the CTCL COVID-19 Response grant funds that you're most proud of?"

Detroit responded that the grant funds "allowed us to hire more quality staff because we were able to pay them more."

The city reported that more than three-quarters of its CTCL grant money ($5.6 million of $7.4 million) was spent on the category "Poll worker recruitment funds, hazard pay, and/or training expenses."

In response to a question asking what Detroit would be able to do if its annual election budget was permanently doubled, the report said, "We are requesting additional Grant Fund assistance for the 2021 election cycle."

According to the grant report, Detroit spent $160,000 on ballot drop boxes and $200,000 on non-partisan voter education. While the total of all three CTCL grants was $7,436,450, the report from Detroit rounded it up to $7,440,000 in its allocation of funds.