Please join for this Open Forum via Zoom on Thursday, March 2 at 7PM. The link for the zoom is https://bit.ly/FutureofGreenwichElections. The Zoom meeting ID is 813-3832-9664 and the passcode is “Greenwich.”
Greenwich resident Susan Schieffelin and RTM member Ed Lopez are hosting this town-wide conversation with subject matter experts Scott Walter of the Capital Research Center and Jason Snead of the Honest Elections Project.
Let us unite to better understand an important topic facing our town. Thus far our town has enjoyed high levels of trust and confidence that our town elections are conducted independently, free and fair and above reproach.
But, public policy charity non-profits with politically partisan billionaire donors are getting involved in local elections administration by giving “free” money and consulting.
The fact that Greenwich elections administration have always been funded by local and state taxes only could be about to change. At the height of COVID, in 2020, Greenwich registrars accepted $28,007 from the Center for Technology and Civic Life, CTCL. Right now, Greenwich registrars are seeking approval for another “free” gift from CTCL in the amount of $500,000, plus establishing membership in CTCL’s new alliance for sharing local practices and getting consulting.
The RTM is voting on March 13, 2023, YES or NO on allowing such arrangements to happen in our town elections offices.
The election clerk in Ottawa County, Michigan, withdrew from the same CTCL alliance and rejected even more money than we are being offered — a whopping $1.5 million, saying “But $1.5 million just seemed excessive. We didn’t ask for that. Honestly, we were very surprised…Election administration is critical government infrastructure and when private individuals seek to fund election operations, it casts a shadow over public trust in the process, particularly when the resources can be tied to individuals or groups who may have also contributed to political parties or candidates.”
This Michigan elections officer went on to say: “Public trust is at the heart of our mission, and we will maintain our focus on providing excellent customer service and access for all our voters, while also delivering robust measures to ensure the integrity of our elections.”
Ask yourself this question — are you comfortable having non-profits with politically partisan billionaire donors give private money and advice to our town registrars? Is this a new normal we want in our town? No doubt there are more public policy charities willing and wanting to give “free” money and consulting to Greenwich.
Let’s discuss this together. Please join for this Open Forum via Zoom on Thursday, March 2 at 7PM. The link for the zoom is:
The Zoom meeting ID is 813-3832-9664
The passcode is “Greenwich.”
Lopez is Chairman, District 3, Representative Town Meeting