A conservative political organization is suing the cities of Lansing and Flint for using grant funds for election operations.
The Center for Tech and Civic Life has distributed money from a $ 250 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan. The center awarded Lansing $ 440,000. Flint made more than $ 475,000.
This is now being challenged by a group called the Election Integrity Fund. The lawsuit argues that it is not legal to use private funds for election operations.
Thomas More Society associate attorney Tim Griffin is working with plaintiffs. He is concerned about the private money spent by local governments to get the vote in predominantly democratic areas. Griffin says this is happening nationwide, saying that “these private organizations are engaging in areas that only benefit them politically, with a clear political motive.” This, he concludes, could trigger “an arms race,” adding “if you want to run for president in the future, will you have to figure out where you need to fund your voting effort through the government? I mean, that’s the fear.”
Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope says the money would be spent on new ballot boxes and compensation for election workers during the pandemic. He declined to comment on the lawsuit.