Bye, bye 'Zuckerbucks': Wisconsin says "no" to private financing of elections

Badger State voters also approved a second constitutional amendment so that only authorized officials can perform election duties.

The Voters in Wisconsin, a key swing state in the presidential election, voted in favor of two constitutional amendments to guarantee electoral integrity in their state. On the one hand, they decided to ban private financing of elections, and, in a second vote, they approved that only authorized officials can carry out the necessary tasks to conduct an electoral process. Both initiatives, presented by the Republican Party, are the response to what happened during the 2020 presidential elections, when Mark Zuckerberg donated more than $400 million (known as Zuckerbucks) to hire staff to go to the polls and provide protective equipment (the elections were held amid restrictions due to the COVID pandemic) to officials and voters.

"Elections belong to voters, not billionaires"

Both proposals achieved notable support at the polls, especially the one referring to the exclusivity of authorized officials in tasks related to electoral appointments, which obtained the yes of 677,453 voters (58.1%). The ban on private financing of the elections reached 631,855 (54.4%) ballots.

The result was widely celebrated by the GOP, which had been denouncing since 2020 that the generous donation from the CEO of Meta most notably favored the Democrats in those elections. In fact, Joe Biden won this state then, which four years earlier preferred Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. In a statement, the president of the Wisconsin Conservatives, Brian Schimming, stressed that the results make it clear that for voters in this region "the elections belong to the voters, not to out-of-state billionaires."

Victory! Wisconsin has spoken and the message is clear: elections belong to voters, not out-of-state billionaires. Thanks to the efforts by the Republican Party of Wisconsin and grassroots organizing, Wisconsinites have turned the page on Zuckerbucks and secured our elections from dark money donors.

Democrats lament that Wisconsin's constitution "now reflects Trump's lies"

On the contrary, the Democrats, who campaigned for the no vote, regretted the result through the party's state spokesperson, Joe Oslund, accusing the promoters of the initiative of including "Donald Trump's lies" in the constitution.

Thanks to the efforts of Robin Vos and Republican politicians in Wisconsin’s legislature, our Constitution will now reflect the lies Donald Trump has told about his 2020 loss, lies he repeated even today on a stage in Green Bay.

The state legislature, controlled by the GOP, chose the route of popular consultation to modify the Constitution for two reasons: the first, that the initiative is more difficult to repeal and, the second, to bypass Democratic Governor Tony Evers' veto, since constitutional amendments do not pass through his office.