New Virginia law bans election offices from accepting private grant money

A new law in Virginia means private grant money will be mostly off-limits for the state’s election offices.

It comes after the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit partially funded by Mark Zuckerberg, gave $3.7 million to local election administrators in 2020 and sparked backlash.

Republican State Sen. William Stanley backed the bill earlier this year, saying it was about the integrity of the election.



“What we have seen is that this goes both ways, this is not a partisan issue. What this is, is quite frankly, an issue of the integrity of election when it comes to funding our government agencies which administer the election,” Stanley said.

Stanley added that nonprofits dish out these funds with a political agenda.

“They do not do so for the integrity of the election. They do not do this because they just want to help. Usually, there’s a political agenda, and it comes from both sides. Republican, Democrat, liberal and conservative,” he said.

There was some pushback from Democrats who assert that Virginia has had safe and secure elections despite any grants. But, ultimately, the law passed in the Democratic-controlled Senate unanimously after some changes were made that would still allow federal grants that may have private funding sources and regular election activity like third-party voter registration.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed the bill into law last month. It’s set to take effect July 1.

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