McCaughey: Grant for Registrars Should be Rejected by RTM

Submitted by Betsy McCaughey

Next week, the Greenwich RTM is being asked to approve an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion into how elections are run in Greenwich.

 A private group—in this case a left-leaning one founded by former Obama campaign election strategists – wants to donate $500,000 to our Board of Elections for the 2024 election cycle.  Next time it could be a far-right group, or even a Socialist group. It doesn’t matter.  Tax money alone has always supported how elections are conducted, to ensure they are impartial.  The grant should be rejected to avoid any appearance of partisan meddling.

Here are the details.

The group is the Center for Tech and Civil Life.  It’s a private advocacy group founded  by former employees of the New Organizing Institute, which the Washington Post describes as the “Democratic Party’s Hogwarts for digital wizardry.”  CTCL distributed more than three hundred million dollars into similar grants to election districts around the country in 2020.  Some of those districts are still embroiled in costly litigation as a result of how the money was used. Beleaguered Madison, Wisconsin is one example.

In 2020 CTCL funded a program called “Safe Voting Plan” with a grant to Madison, Wisconsin. The plan was designed to be “intentional and strategic in reaching our historically disenfranchised residents and communities.” The grant paid for a dozen drop boxes. In July 2022, after many months of litigation, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the drop boxes were unconstitutional because Wisconsin law forbids unmanned collection boxes.

The grant being offered to Greenwich comes from the same people who funded Madison’s plan.  Greenwich’s proposed grant is from the US Alliance for Educational Excellence, a project of CTCL. 

24 States and twelve counties in the US have enacted laws barring this group or any other private group from interfering in elections.

Greenwich doesn’t need the appearance of partisanship and the legal problems that will inevitably result from taking this grant. Our election machinery and procedures are funded by taxpayers and should remain that way.

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, and whether you lean left or right, doesn’t matter.  We all want fair elections. Please use your voice to tell the RTM to vote against this “grant.”

Betsy McCaughey
Greenwich resident
Former Lt. Gov. of New York State