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Walker: Elections too important to let politicians decide integrity

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(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s most-recent former governor says elections in the state must be fair and free from outside money posing as election aid.

Former Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday said voters need to approve a constitutional amendment banning so-called “Zuckerbucks” in order to keep politicians from sapping faith from voters.

“Because elections are so important, you don’t want to leave that to the whim of whoever is temporarily in charge at that time,” Walker told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber.

Wisconsin voters will see the amendment on their ballots on Tuesday. If approved, it would ban local election managers from accepting outside money, grants or gifts to help with election proceedings.

The proposed ban comes after the Mark Zuckerberg-backed Center for Tech and Civic Life spent more than $6 million in 2020 on election operations in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Racine and Kenosha.

Local election officials say some of the money went for hand sanitizer and face masks, but most of the money went toward get out the vote efforts.

In Green Bay, emails show the CTCL group all but took over the city of Green Bay’s election operation.

Walker said all voters should see that kind of outside influence as a step too far.

“Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or somewhere in between, it makes sense the elections should be as uniform as possible in the state. That’s why everybody closes their polls at 8 p.m. It’s why you have similar standards,” Walker added. “We should not have anybody outside of official government officials running elections. And we should have transparency along with that to make sure we can all see that they’re doing the right thing.”

Walker said he’d support a ban on outside election money if it were the Koch brothers’ non-profit just as much as he supports a ban on Zuckerberg’s left-leaning group.

Critics say Wisconsin lawmakers should deal with the question about election grants. But Walker said Republicans tried to close any outside money loopholes only to have Gov. Tony Evers veto them.

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