Private groups shouldn’t train public election administrators

|

There’s a new potential threat to election integrity. In 2020, the Center for Tech and Civic Life distributed more than $350 million from Mark Zuckerberg for election administration in specific counties, an unprecedented move that avoided transparency and may have helped to influence the election. Following nationwide pushback, the group has spun off a rebranded effort that’s devoting another $80 million to train and support select election administrators, with no oversight or accountability. States should immediately ban such actions to protect the integrity of the November midterms.

This new campaign, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, launched in April and will “identify… local election departments” and provide “coaching,” with the goal of “improv[ing] upon practices and procedures.” It will focus on the whole of election infrastructure, including technology, while providing “custom support” to local officials. Yet training public officials to run elections is not the role of a private organization. It is the role of state chief election officers — normally the secretary of state or an election commission — or their designees, who are accountable to voters.