Montana is close to banning outside money in our elections offices, including the notorious "Zuckerbucks" that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg used to interfere in the 2020 elections.

According to the Montana Senate Republican majority, three election integrity billings are now headed to Governor Greg Gianforte's (R-MT) desk, including Senate Bill 117.

SB 117 prohibits state and local governments from using outside money to conduct elections, instead requiring that all election administration costs be paid for with public funds. SB 117 is sponsored by Sen. Shelley Vance, R-Belgrade, a former Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder.

Why does this matter?

As we reported back in August of 2022, partisan ideologues like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg were giving millions of dollars to elections offices across the country. In some precincts that money was then used to boost Democrat voter turnout with faulty Get out the Vote (GOTV) programs.

Christian Adams with the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF): They they bought radio advertisement on Hispanic and urban radio, but not country. You get it. That's how the Zuckbucks were deployed. It was to juice turnout among certain demographics that consistently vote with high degrees of cohesion, meaning history shows the they tend to vote a certain way. And that's what was happening with the use of this money in large urban centers like Philadelphia, Detroit, Madison, Milwaukee, and Phoenix.

A report also showed how Zuckerbucks were given to several county election offices in Montana as well.

The other two election related bills touted by State Senate Republicans are SB 197 and SB 254.

SB 197 by Sen. Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, doubles the number of precincts and elections that are subject to post-election audits.

SB 254 adds counties that don’t use vote-counting machines to the post-election audit process. It’s sponsored by Sen. Ken Bogner, R-Miles City. 

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