Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-leaning organization critical of President Trump, donated a staggering $85,000 during the 2020 presidential election to election administrators in Georgia’s largest county, increasing controversy over private funding in elections.
SPLC sent the funds to Fulton County for the purchase of 25 absentee drop boxes in their mission to increase black voter turnout, according to the organization.
The group specified that unused funds were to be returned to the organization by Dec. 31, 2020. However, a Fulton County auditor revealed in August that the remaining $44,386 was kept in the Registration and Election Department’s budget, according to Just the News.
The outlet also states that the audit into SPLC’s funds highlights the ongoing conflict involving private funds bypassing political campaigns and landing in the hands of independent judges and election administrators, increasing controversy over private funding in elections.
Fulton County is one of the most contested counties in the country due to its voting malpractices during the 2020 election.
Following the 2020 presidential election, multiple states, including Arizona, voted to outlaw private election funds.
Responding to Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s donation of $350 million in 2020 to the Center for Tech and Civic Live, which gives grants to election administrators, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation that would ban the use of private funding for elections, ensuring election integrity.
Arizona Republicans argued the legislation would prevent corporations and donors from influencing elections. “This makes dark money look like a bright day,” Republican Sen. J.D Mesnard said. “We should be proactively stopping that before it becomes embedded in America’s election system.”