Wisconsin voters will approve election law changes championed by Republicans, CNN projects |

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CNN
 — 

Wisconsin voters will approve two election-related amendments to the state constitution, CNN projects, delivering a win for Republican lawmakers who have pushed to alter voting rules in this battleground state ahead of November’s presidential election.

The vote to ban the use of private money in election administration marks a victory for conservative activists who have denounced what they have called “Zuckerbucks,” the money that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated to a nonprofit that ultimately helped administrators around the country carry out the 2020 election amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one-time $350 million donation included roughly $10 million sent to Wisconsin jurisdictions. The grant administrators noted that any community that applied for the money received it and said partisanship played no role in their decision-making.

But opponents have argued the money helped Democratic turnout that year – particularly in the state’s largest cities – and unfairly shaped the 2020 election outcome as Wisconsin flipped from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

Biden won Wisconsin by fewer than 21,000 votes that year.

In aftermath of Trump’s 2020 loss, he and his allies have made repeated, baseless claims that election fraud contributed to his defeat in the Badger State.

More than two dozen states have banned, limited or otherwise regulated private donations for elections since the 2020 contest, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. An effort to do so legislatively in Wisconsin was vetoed by the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, who has blocked election changes passed by the Republican-controlled legislature.

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday are also projected to approve a separate constitutional amendment that would allow only officials designated by state law to administer elections. Proponents said it was needed to guard against outside consultants participating in the process.

Opponents have argued that the measures could have unintended consequences, such as potentially barring local clerks from accepting donated supplies or the use of a privately owned building as a polling place. In addition, they note, the ballot questions make no guarantee of increased government funding to help run elections once private sources are restricted.

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