Nonpartisan watchdog releases report outlining top election security threats for 2024: ‘A lot can go sideways’

FIRST ON FOX: A nonpartisan election integrity watchdog has released a detailed report outlining over a dozen ‘critical reforms’ that need to be undertaken in states across the U.S. leading up to the 2024 election in order to ‘secure voter integrity.’

We believe very strongly in making it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and in order to do that, there’s a comprehensive set of basic rules and safeguards that I believe every state should adopt and should follow,’ Honest Elections Project (HEP) Executive Director Jason Snead told Fox News Digital about the ‘Safeguarding Our Elections’ report released on Friday.

‘We’ve built everything in this report out over the last few years, talking with experts, working with states, seeing what works and what doesn’t work, just as importantly, and then trying to bring it all together into a single, consolidated, concise piece of literature that you can drop this on the desk of lawmaker, and they can go out and they can get these reforms passed and make their elections work better the voters.‘

The report calls for ‘honest rules for honest elections’ and lists 14 main areas that states should address, including banning ranked choice voting, blocking ‘Zuck Bucks 2.0,’ banning non-citizens from voting in elections, consolidating election dates, requiring voter ID, and protecting vulnerable mail ballots.

The Honest Elections Project has long spoken out against left-wing nonprofit organizations funneling money into elections across the country, including what is known as ‘ZuckBucks’ and its latest iteration, which is known by critics as ‘ZuckBucks 2.0.’

‘Elections should be accountable to the public, not to special interest groups and liberal megadonors,’ the report states. ‘In 2020, left-wing nonprofits pumped more than $400 million from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg into thousands of election offices, giving more money to places that ultimately voted for Joe Biden.’

‘Dozens of states have banned or restricted private election grants, but the same left-wing group behind ‘Zuck Bucks’ in 2020, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), has already created a new $80 million program, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, to skirt these laws and influence election offices across America.’

The report also discusses what is known as ranked choice voting, which HEP says should be banned by each individual state.

‘RCV makes it harder to vote, harder to understand the results of elections, and harder to trust the voting process,’ the report states. ‘States across the country are banning RCV and dissatisfied cities are repealing it, but a coordinated campaign driven by left-wing megadonors is promoting RCV to skew politics to the left.’

We’ve seen at this point possibly a dozen states are facing ballot measure fights to bring ranked choice voting to future elections,’ Snead told Fox News Digital. ‘We’ve seen Zuck Bucks 2.0 launch in earnest and they’ve got the new $80 million program. We wanted to make sure that those issues were elevated for policymakers and for folks in the media as well, so that they can understand what these new threats and challenges are.’

Recent polling shows that a vast majority of Americans oppose foreign influence in elections, which Honest Elections Project says occurs in the United States despite laws on the books against it.

‘Federal and state laws bar candidates and campaigns from receiving foreign donations, but these laws generally do not apply to ballot measures,’ the report states. ‘Left-wing groups like the 1630 Fund routinely pour tens of millions into ballot measure campaigns while simultaneously accepting substantial donations from foreign nationals such as Hansjörg Wyss.’

Fox News Digital has reported extensively on Wyss and other liberal dark money networks funneling tens of millions into elections promoting left-wing causes.

Across the country, states like Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi and others have made moves to tighten election integrity, and Snead told Fox News Digital that many of the changes recommended in the report can be made fairly easily.

Ohio and Georgia have taken action against issues recommended in the report since the beginning of this year.

A lot of states are looking for what to do this year that doesn’t involve significant rewrites of election law, doesn’t raise the age-old concern that you’ll get from election clerks and officials that you’re changing things in the middle of an election and that it’s a potential disruptor,’ Snead told Fox News Digital. ‘You can ban ranked choice voting, you can shut off Zuck Bucks 2.0, you can shut off foreign influence in elections by closing foreign influence in polls at the state level. You can bring process audits to your elections and empower secretaries of state to actually go in and make sure that election laws are being followed. None of that is disruptive to elections and it will have meaningful positive impacts for security, transparency and public confidence in the voting process.‘

Snead said the report is not based on ‘platitudes’ or ‘virtue-signaling’ but rather information that is thoroughly researched and ‘backed up’ in order to serve as a handbook or guide to state governments and legislatures on how to ensure their elections are as secure as possible.

‘I hope at least that as far as 2024 is concerned, things will work better than they did in 2020,’ Snead said. ‘We certainly don’t have a global pandemic hanging over us; that alone is a big boon. But there’s still a lot that can go sideways and, of course, in the future, we always need to be mindful of how we can keep improving our elections.’

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