Last year, Trusted Elections Fund was created under the guise of mobilizing financial resources to uphold the integrity of our elections. According to publicly available documents, the Fund estimates they will need $8 million for proactive and reactive strategies in the 2020 election, including engaging with elected officials, providing “training and best practices” to the news media, combating “election mis/disinformation,” and preparing for post-Election Day litigation.
So why would a group that has such lofty goals to protect our election integrity lack the basic tenants of integrity and transparency themselves? Despite being a project of the very visible and exceedingly well-funded dark money group, New Venture Fund, Trusted Elections Fund has no website or social media channels.
By their own estimation, the Fund needed at least $5 million by the by the end of May 2020 “to ensure the infrastructure is in place to plan for and mitigate the most critical potential emergencies.” And while they are led by the Democracy Fund, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and Spitzer Charitable Trust, only $700,000 of that budget can be traced to a funding source.
As Trusted Elections Fund joins the ranks of countless groups highlighting their efforts to protect election integrity, why are they the only one steering away from a public footprint? Why is there so much secrecy involved in their operations when something as important as Election Day is at stake?
If Trusted Elections Fund is planning to insert themselves into training the press, pushing out information to voters, and being involved on Election Day, we should demand that they at least have the minimal level of transparency. That is especially true if they will “engage with state and federal officials” running our elections in ways that may not be publicly known. Secretive dark money groups that leave more questions than answers have no place in our electoral process.