Op Ed

Mark Zuckerberg Illegally “Friended” Montana in the 2020 Election

This op-ed was first published in Last Chance Patriots newsletter.

It has been over 16 months since the 2020 General Election and the results continue to be investigated around the country, particularly in conservative trending states which unexpectedly turned blue in the 2020 election.

Perhaps the most curious anomaly is the Trojan Horse of $350 million injected into the American election process by anti-free speech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. They did it through a small non-profit organization known as the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). Over 2500 counties and other jurisdictions throughout the country applied for and received these funds to be used for “modernizing” elections.

In Montana, 30 of the 56 counties applied for the grants in the fall of 2020, contrary to MCA 13-1-302 which requires general elections to be paid for by the counties – unless specifically provided otherwise. Citizens have been unable to learn who in the state or counties provided any such authorization or if it was provided. Two counties turned down the funds after being awarded them.

The Sanders County clerk provided emails to a reporter showing that they were concerned about the identity of CTCL, were reluctant to provide the county bank account information to CTCL for the funds to be deposited, and were wary when they were advised that they did not have to spend the money on what was shown on the application.

Jefferson County also declined the award, though the reasons are unknown. Funds in Montana counties were spent on hiring and training people, ballot drop boxes, equipment, drive-through voting, real estate, and other areas designed to build a permanent infrastructure for mail-in voting.

Because the Montana Secretary of State’s office said they were not following the CTCL grants, individual citizens around the state began asking county election administrators for the report due to CTCL by January 31, 2021, detailing how much was received by the county and how the funds were spent. Through citizen inquiries, confirmed by CTCL’s release of its 990 tax return, we have learned that Montana received $2,468,937 putting it at #4 in the nation in per capita CTCL funds. It was the first Trump state in the per capita dollars. Montana received 43% more than Kentucky, the second-highest Trump state in the list.

In some cases like Lake County, the grant amount doubled the election budget for the county, and like Yellowstone County, it needed a six-month extension to spend the entire amount for the November 2020 election. Montana also holds the dubious honor of apparently having the highest per capita county in the country by far in CTCL funds, though the research continues. Blaine County (Chinook) with 7000 residents received $256,433 or $36.40 per capita.

The CTCL report form includes an opportunity for county election administrators to receive the free monthly newsletter, “ELECTricity” which along with “free cutting-edge training on topics like election cybersecurity” and “a free collection of tools that includes a modern, accessible election website template,” ensures that Mark Zuckerberg’s influence on Montana’s elections continues.

The attraction of free money opened the gate of any vestige of election integrity in Montana to a Trojan Horse. There is silence from the administration and both political parties – but citizens keep asking questions.

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