Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Wednesday signed House Bill 194 (HB194), the “Zuckerbucks” bill, into law. HB194 was sponsored by State Rep. Wes Allen (R–Troy).

HB194 prohibits state and local election officials from accepting private donations to fund election-related expenses.

“In Alabama, we are committed to ensuring the integrity of our election process remains second to none,” Ivey said in a statement. “Big tech’s efforts to undermine the integrity of our elections has no place in our country, and I’m proud to have signed legislation that ensures Alabama’s election process remains air-tight.”

In the 2020 election, billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly directed some $350 million in donations, or “Zuckerbucks,” to more than 2,500 election officials throughout the country – with the vast majority of these dollars finding their way to battleground counties won by Joe Biden. Seven counties in Alabama that typically vote Democrat received money from Zuckerberg.

“I am proud to have sponsored and passed these important elections integrity bills,” Allen said. “We will never again see people like Mark Zuckerberg attempting to buy our elections process with 'donations' and 'grants' to our elections officials. This is strong legislation, and I am very proud of it.”

Allen is a Republican candidate for the Office of Secretary of State.

Ed Packard is also a candidate for Secretary of State. Packard said that while he supports the bill, the penalties should be stiffer.

“Even Representative Allen’s bill makes the corruption of our election processes through cash donations or donations of material goods only a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $3,000,” Packard said. “So many election crimes in Alabama are quite a bargain. If you have $500 to burn, you can litter on our state’s highways. Or you can buy a vote or even sell your vote. Those transgressions are Class C misdemeanors, punishable by up to three months in jail and/or a $500 fine. It’s well past time to adjust the penalties for undermining our elections, the very foundation of our system of governance.”

Allen, Christian Horn, Packard, and Jim Zeigler are all running in the May 24 Republican primary for Secretary of State. Ivey is on the ballot in the same election seeking another term in office as governor.

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