Violations of SB 222, which is headed to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to sign, would result in a felony punished by at least one year in prison and a fine of at least $10,000.
The bill expands the limitations set by the state’s 2021 voting law, which prevented nonprofits from providing any funding directly to local election officials.
Republicans have pushed for the expansion because they argue outside groups have the ability to funnel money into a county for a specific party. Republican officials had previously taken aim at donations funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan to local election offices during the height of the pandemic in 2020. Conservatives say the grants helped make it easier to vote in Democratic areas – giving the party an unfair advantage.
GOP state senators spoke on the floor on Wednesday before final passage and claimed the bill is “fair for everybody.”
“All Senate bill 222 does, but what it does very well, is make sure that any outside foundation dollars that come to the state is spread evenly across the state so there’s equal access to all people and that outside entities can’t privately fund election outcomes in one place versus another,” state Sen. Ed Setzler said.
But critics have said the bill will adversely affect the ability of elections offices to administer elections and makes the process of voting more difficult with less resources, especially in larger counties.