Podcast episodes

Swamp Stories Episode 41: Zuckerbucks

The 2020 election season, while carried out successfully by dedicated election officials and poll workers, exposed one glaring problem with the U.S. system of elections: it is chronically underfunded.

Though Congress allocated $400 million for election assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was far short of what experts and election administrators said was needed to pull off an election in a pandemic. Private philanthropy, from folks like Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, stepped in to help fill the gap. These investments didn’t come without scrutiny.

In episode 41, Weston speaks with the head of the nonprofit that distributed grants to election departments around the country in both red and blue states to set the record straight about the role private philanthropy played in the 2020 election, and the need for increased federal investment in our nation’s election infrastructure.

Listeners will hear from:

  • Tiana Epps-Johnson, CEO of the Center for Tech and Civic Life
  • Sam Oliker-Friedland, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsive Government

The episode also features interviews Issue One conducted with Republican election officials, including:

  • Bill Gates, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Maricopa County, AZ
  • Neal Kelley, Former Registrar of Voters for Orange County, CA
  • Carly Koppes, Clerk and Recorder for Weld County, CO
  • Shane Schoeller, Clerk for Greene County, MO

Check out episode 41 of “Swamp Stories”: “Zuckerbucks