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House Passes Liz Cheney’s Trojan Horse Elections Bill Enabling Democrat Takeover Of The Ballot Box


BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | SEPTEMBER 22, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/22/house-passes-liz-cheneys-trojan-horse-elections-bill-enabling-democrat-takeover-of-the-ballot-box/

Ballot Box

The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to overhaul the 1887 Electoral Count Act and re-write election rules to benefit Democrats in presidential contests.

The bill, proposed by GOP Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California who is under Cheney on the Jan. 6 Committee, reforms the 135-year-old law to narrow the grounds for objections to presidential electors and open the door to late-day voting.

Cheney’s “Presidential Election Reform Act” became the Democrats’ answer to their failed effort to override state election laws in H.R. 1, which Senate Republicans blocked last summer. The legislation carries some of the same provisions of the doomed election bill at the top of Democrats’ congressional agenda. Just nine Republicans supported the bill, all but one of whom supported President Donald Trump’s second impeachment and are either retiring or have lost their primaries.

New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, who co-chairs the Election Integrity Caucus, condemned the bill as “the latest attempt from House Democrats to stack the democratic process in their favor” and complained that the proposal did not go through the proper legislative process. The text was only released days before the Wednesday vote and received no bipartisan hearing or markup in committee.

“It is nothing more than a partisan messaging bill intended to score cheap political points weeks before an election,” Tenney said in a press release outlining the legislation’s flaws.

“The bill broadly defines a ‘catastrophic event,’ which could be used to extend balloting for up to five days after the polls close in a presidential election,” Tenney said. “It also tramples on the core principle of state sovereignty and directly contradicts the United States Constitution. The legislation also creates broad private rights of action in a backdoor to empower Democrat election lawyers and partisan operatives.”

The congresswoman from central New York called on her colleagues to outlaw the private takeover of elections through “Zuckerbucks” and boost security at the ballot box.

Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis similarly condemned the bill’s expedited passage through the lower chamber on the House floor and highlighted the hypocrisy over electoral objections.

“Democrats have objected to every single Republican presidential win in the 21st century,” Davis said.

In 2017, Democrats objected to more states certifying President Donald Trump’s win than Republicans did four years later for Joe Biden.

“I believe what the House Democrats and the Jan. 6 Committee are doing is irresponsible and wrong,” Davis said. “They have allowed their dislike for one man, President Trump, to cloud their judgment and guide their actions — no matter the consequences to this institution or the Constitution that they claim to want to uphold.”

According to Axios, similar legislation in the upper chamber has already drawn support from the 10 Republicans needed in the split Senate to circumvent a filibuster.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

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    Explosive Pennsylvania Testimony Explains How Leftist Money Infiltrated Election Offices In 2020


    REPORTED BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | APRIL 08, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/08/explosive-pennsylvania-testimony-explains-how-leftist-money-infiltrated-election-offices-in-2020/

    Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania

    This evidence should be enough for the Pennsylvania legislature to recognize there is a real problem when private money and private actors collaborate with election officials.

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    The Democrat governor’s office in Pennsylvania colluded with left-wing activists to secure millions of dollars in private money to run get-out-the-vote efforts in blue counties in the swing state in 2020, new, explosive testimony revealed. The Pennsylvania legislature heard this testimony, backed up by email evidence, on Tuesday during the first public hearing on two new bills seeking to block private grants.

    Tuesday’s public hearing began with statements by the respective primary sponsors of the bills that seek to ban dark money from elections, with Sen. Lisa Baker speaking in support of Senate Bill 982 and Rep. Eric Nelson encouraging passage of House Bill 2044. Pennsylvania investigative journalist Todd Shepherd then testified at length on the results of his extensive probe into the insertion of private funds into the 2020 election.

    With a series of PowerPoint slides, Shepherd revealed to lawmakers that beginning in July 2020, consultants working for leftist organizations coordinated with local election officials and Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s office to lobby five blue counties to apply for these private grants. While the grants originated with the nominally non-partisan Center for Tech and Civic Life—an organization that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s private foundation later infused with some $350 million in cash—emails reveal that a main consultant involved in targeting select counties, Marc Solomon, worked for the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, or the CSME.

    “What’s important to know about CSME is that it is not a 501(c)3, but rather it is a fiscally sponsored project of the New Venture Fund,” Shepherd told the Pennsylvania lawmakers. In turn, “the New Venture Fund is managed by Arabella Advisors,” Shepherd continued, noting that “the ‘parent’ group of Arabella, New Venture Fund — they are part of what the Atlantic Magazine identified as ‘The Massive Progressive Dark-Money Group You’ve Never Heard Of.’” In fact, in January, The New York Times called out the New Venture Fund in its article headlined, “Democrats Decried Dark Money. Then they Won with it in 2020,” Shepherd added.

    The CSME was not the only left-wing organization involved in lobbying blue counties to obtain grants. The emails also indicate that The Voter Project played a prominent role in this targeted cash giveaway: Following the 2020 election, the lead strategist in Pennsylvania for The Voter Project would brag that The Voter Project “was instrumental in signing up over 3.2 million people to vote by mail and leading the soft-side effort to win the swing state in 2020.”

    How the Left Opened This Battlefront

    A July 2020 email exposes the beginning of these efforts, with The Voter Project’s Gwen Camp introducing Delaware County’s Christine Reuther to CSME’s Solomon, saying they had “both been hearing about the other’s operations” and “want[ed] to get everyone together to talk about the potential for an official partnership.” According to the testimony, Camp copied Jessica Walls-Lavelle, a special advisor to the chief of staff on election reform in Wolf’s office, on that email, along with The Voters Project lead Pennsylvania strategist Kevin Mack.

    In August, other emails show the governor’s staffer, Walls-Lavelle, reaching out to additional blue counties. Solomon passed the good news to his Delaware County contact, Reuther, telling her, “We’ve invited Chester, Montco, and Bucks to apply! They’re on it!”

    Another email from August shows Camp, a consultant for The Voters Project, contacting a representative in Lackawanna County, telling the recipient that Camp is working with Jessica Walls-Lavelle, who is “with the Governor’s Office.”

    Activists Push for Ballot Trafficking Dropboxes

    All five counties lobbied by the left-wing activists, with an assist from Wolf’s office, ended up breaking heavily for Joe Biden, which likely explains why, when Solomon saw in August 2020 that Montgomery County had applied for a $1.2 million grant, he exclaimed, “the third largest county in the state, Philly suburbs!” Solomon then asked his colleagues whether they should turn this “into more of a plan.”

    In an email response, Solomon’s cohort noted that the application “raised polling place consolidation as a possibility.” “We should ask what resources they need to make that not happen,” the email continued, suggesting: “Could we push them to use more than 5 drop boxes with more money? Maybe pointing out that Delaware County is using 10 times as many?”

    While the right-to-know requests revealed the targeted lobbying of blue counties, there were no emails showing any outreach to core Republican counties until after September 1, 2020. That proves significant, according to Shepherd’s testimony, because when the summer-time targeting of Democratic strongholds took place, the Zuckbucks cash infusion to the CTCL had not yet been announced. Without that cash, there may never have been a chance for the red counties to obtain any funds. (Shepherd also questioned where the earlier CTCL funding came from—something apparently still unknown.)

    But even after the new funds came in, the Democrat counties still received a substantially higher cut of the $22.5 million in grants spread across 23 counties, as Shepherd illustrated with powerful graphics, testifying, “Philadelphia had $8.83 cents that could be spent on each ‘Joe Citizen’ registered to vote there, while in Luzerne or Erie County, those counties had about 75 cents to spend on ‘Joe Citizen’ registered voter in those counties.”

    Equal Protection Problems

    Far from being an outlier, Pennsylvania’s experience matches the growing evidence seen in other states that the Zuckbucks and other leftist money funded state-run get-out-the-vote efforts for Biden. What makes Pennsylvania different, however, is that the emails connect the grant process to government actors and show the state’s collaboration with left-wing political activists to lobby Democrat-only counties. This evidence raises constitutional concerns under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    The Supreme Court made clear in Bush v. Gore that “the right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise.” The Equal Protection clause requires both that the right to vote be granted on equal terms, but also that the state “not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of any.” The emails highlighted in Tuesday’s hearing suggest that such “arbitrary and disparate treatment” occurred in 2020, with the governor’s office and select counties as willful participants.

    Individuals representing the secretary of state’s office and Philadelphia County also testified at Tuesday’s hearing and attempted to downplay the disparity by stressing that large counties had different needs. Delaware County spent some $600,000 on “Bluecrest mail sorting equipment” one witness stressed, while an election official from Philadelphia county noted it expended huge sums of grant money to purchase modern machines to “open, sort, and tabulate” votes in that county.

    But rather than support their “nothing to see here” response, Delaware and Philadelphia County’s purchase of the high-tech Bluecrest mail-sorting equipment highlights a second Equal Protection problem seen in the 2020 election.

    As I reported shortly after the election, evidence shows that Philadelphia and other Democrat strongholds illegally engaged in pre-canvasing activities by inspecting mail-in ballots before election day. They did this by weighing the ballots on the Bluecrest sorting equipment to determine if the voter had enclosed the ballot in a “sleeve” as required by state law. Election workers in Philadelphia and other select counties then provided campaign workers the list of allegedly defective ballots—ones without a sleeve—allowing activists to contact the voters, telling them to cast a new vote.   

    While the Bluecrest sorting equipment used in Philadelphia and Delaware County can detect which ballots are defective based on their thickness or weight, smaller counties without that sophisticated equipment could not conduct such pre-canvas inspections, which in any event violate the state’s election code.

    Other Evidence of Vote Mismanagement

    Referencing Delaware County’s expenditures proves ironic for a second reason: Whistleblower videos have exposed extensive evidence of systemic problems with the 2020 election in the large Pennsylvania county, including violations of election law and potentially corruption and fraud. Of course, mail-in voting itself is ripe for election fraud, and as the emails show Delaware County had 10 times the number of drop boxes planned over the even larger Montgomery County.

    The whistleblower videos in Delaware County also captured election workers discussing the fact that some of the voting machines were missing V-drives, or the removable memory drive that records the vote tallies, and conversing on how to recreate the missing data, which a later video confirmed the county did. Yet, even with this video evidence, Delaware County council member Christine Reuther declared at a recent public meeting, “There were no missing drives. It’s been debunked. It’s been before the board of elections. It’s been addressed in court. There’s been testimony about it. There were no missing drives.”

    Reuther is the same council member involved in the early lobbying for Delaware County to apply for private grants.

    This evidence should be enough for the Pennsylvania legislature to recognize there is a real problem when private money and private actors collaborate with election officials, especially when they target select counties. But Tuesday’s hearing suggests Democrats don’t care, with one witness opposing the new legislation by framing the bills as part of “the big lie” that Trump won the election.

    Without Democrats on board, the bill will be doomed even if it passes the legislature, as last year Wolf vetoed a similar ban on outside money. And we may now know why.


    Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

    ZuckBucks-Connected Private Organization Taught Election Officials To ‘Control the Narrative’ About Mail-In Voting


    REPORTED BY: LOGAN WASHBURN | JANUARY 26, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/26/zuckbucks-connected-private-organization-taught-election-officials-to-control-the-narrative-about-mail-in-voting/

    Wisconsin election volunteers

    A left-leaning nonprofit instructed public officials how to “control the narrative” about mail-in ballots in the 2020 election. The National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI) guided officials to sway public opinion in favor of mail-in voting with their 2020 Election Official Communications Toolkit.” The group shared this document with public officials in Wisconsin while working with the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to influence the 2020 election.

    CTCL used nearly half a billion dollars from Facebook tycoon Mark Zuckerberg to fund private action within government election offices. They spent most of the money in Democrat-saturated districts, which boosted Joe Biden’s narrow presidential win in 2020. As a partner for the “Zuckbucks” recipient, NVAHI gave public officials advice on how to “control the narrative” about mail-in ballots.

    “Do not repeat myths as a way to refute them,” the document says. “Instead, control the narrative by presenting information that affirms the safety, security, and reliability of mail balloting.”

    Mail-in voting is not only proven to be more susceptible to voter fraud and errors than in-person voting, it is well known to favor Democrats over Republicans. It essentially functions as a get-out-the-vote operation on behalf of Democrats, whose voters are less motivated to show up at the polls on election day. Republican voters far prefer to vote in person, accurately believing it is more secure.

    The group also told election officials to push mail-in voting by placing articles in media outlets: “Reporters will likely already be writing up voter information guides as well as shaping their articles around how well or poorly the election is running. A proactive op-ed strategy is helpful here,” the document says.

    NVAHI explained that officials should target free, popular local news publications: “For all these types of outlets, approach them about whether they would run an article on your behalf about the upcoming election,” the document says.

    The organization recommended officials use public information strategies such as “playing up the security” of mail-in voting. NVAHI told election officials to dissuade concerns about mail-in ballots by claiming that they contain “over a dozen security features.”

    “Voters may be reluctant to fill out a mail ballot because of concerns they’ve heard about stolen or lost ballots. Assuage those concerns without leaning into them,” the document says.

    The guide also tells public officials to “instill a sense of urgency” about mail-in voting, recommending an appeal to popularity: “Voters may be unsure whether voting by mail is right for them. Social proof (showing how many people are taking up a behavior) is a powerful way of making mail-in ballots a compelling option.”

    The document also recommended that government election offices use particular slogans for public information campaigns, such as “Voting by mail is easy and secure,” and “Let’s all vote safely. Choose to vote by mail.”

    NVAHI partnered with the organization Ideas42 to create this toolkit. According to its website, the group is “a non-profit that uses insights from behavioral science to improve lives, build better systems and policies, and drive social change.” Ideas42 works with CTCL partner Center for Civic Design, along with several offices of government secretaries of state.

    After CTCL gave a grant of $1.6 million to the Wisconsin city of Green Bay in 2020, NVAHI gained access to absentee ballots and influence over election preparations in the area. NVAHI Wisconsin State Lead Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein emailed the elections guide to former Green Bay City Clerk Kris Teske in August 2020.

    When reaching out to Teske, Spitzer-Rubenstein described the toolkit as “a groundbreaking resource that uses behavioral science insights from our partners at Ideas42 to help you connect with communities and get voters the information they need.”

    Spitzer-Rubenstein, who worked for Democrat political campaigns in the past, emailed Teske to ask if his group could “cure” absentee ballots. This means altering absentee ballots after they are filed to allegedly fix errors, rather than counting improperly marked ballots as invalid. When Teske turned down the offer, Spitzer-Rubenstein emailed former Green Bay Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Celestine Jeffreys, who ordered Teske to open the city elections’ ballot-curing process to NVAHI, a private special interest group.

    A 2021 audit of Wisconsin elections found the state had counted enough illegal ballots in 2020 to potentially switch its Electoral College votes from Biden to Donald Trump. Vote curing in the election could have contributed to the state counting illegal votes, the audit found.

    Also in 2021, a judge ruled that the state’s 2020 use of ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting, both of which are only possible with mail-in ballots, was illegal. The majority of mail-in ballots in Wisconsin were votes for Biden, who won the state by a margin of 0.63 percent, or approximately 20,600 votes.

    Before election day, Green Bay elections officials gave Spitzer-Rubenstein four out of five keys to the room in which the absentee ballots were stored, former Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno told Wisconsin Spotlight.

    After the election, Juno expressed concerns that the Central Count location was “tainted by the influence of a person working for an outside organization influencing the election,” according to Wisconsin Spotlight. Teske said she felt that third-party groups such as CTCL and NVAHI excluded the clerk’s office from the election process.

    “As you know, I am very frustrated, along with the Clerk’s Office. I don’t know what to do anymore,” she emailed a colleague. “I don’t understand how people who don’t have knowledge of the process can tell us how to manage the election.”


    Logan Washburn is studying politics and journalism at Hillsdale College. He is a correspondent for Campus Reform and an outreach assistant for the Freedom Foundation.

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