Amendment to prohibit nongovernmental funds to fund elections introduced in Louisiana House

A constitutional amendment was introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives on April 3 that would prohibit funds from a foreign government or any nongovernmental source to be used to conduct elections.

As of January 2023, 24 states had enacted legislation to prohibit private funding for election administration. According to NCSL, these laws were enacted in 2021 or 2022.

In 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, donated $350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). CTCL announced that the donation would be used to provide coronavirus response grants for local election administration purposes. CTCL awarded over 2,500 grants. These donations sparked debate about non-governmental entities providing private funding for election administration efforts.

The following map shows the states that enacted legislation to prohibit private funding for election administration purposes as of January 2023:

In Louisiana, a two-thirds vote is needed in each chamber of the Louisiana State Legislature to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot for voter consideration. This amounts to at least 70 votes in the House and 26 votes in the Senate.

If passed by both chambers of the legislature, it would appear on the statewide ballot on Oct.14, 2023.

As of 2023, Louisiana has a divided government. The governor is a Democrat, while the Republican Party controls both chambers of the state Legislature. There are 70 Republicans, 32 Democrats, and two Independents in the Louisiana House of Representatives. There are 27 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Louisiana State Senate.

A total of 56 constitutional amendments appeared on the statewide ballot in Louisiana during odd-numbered years from 1999 through 2021. Of the 56 amendments, 37 (67.27%) were approved and 19 (34.54%) were defeated.

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