A nonpartisan organization that trains election workers from across the country is now being run by two liberal voting activists—one who previously worked for the nonprofit that distributed hundreds of millions of dollars of Mark Zuckerberg’s election grants during the 2020 elections. The grants were supposedly to “help” local governments run elections, but most of the money went to election offices in Democrat-run localities.
Meanwhile, most board members of the National Association of Election Officials, commonly known as The Election Center, are current or former elections officials from heavily blue counties.
“Left-wing activists want to insert ‘progressive’ groups into our election machinery, making partisan actors a permanent part of how we count ballots in all future elections,” Hayden Ludwig, director of public policy research at conservative advocacy group Restoration of America, told The Daily Signal.
The Election Center is holding training for elected officials at its 38th Annual National Conference from Aug. 26-30 in Orlando, Florida.
The co-CEOs who began running the organization in December and February are Tammy Patrick and Joe Gloria, respectively. Research from Restoration of America shows each has a left-leaning political past. The two replaced Tim Mattice, who was the executive director of the group since 2015, according to an Election Center December press release.
Patrick is a board member of the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit that doled out more than $400 million in grants funded by Facebook founder Zuckerberg. She was also previously senior adviser to the Elections Program at the Democracy Fund, an organization started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who donates to various liberal organizations. President Barack Obama also appointed Patrick to his Presidential Commission on Election Administration in 2013.
Gloria was previously the registrar of voters in Clark County, Nevada, (where Las Vegas is the county seat) since 2013, where he helped set up an automatic voter registration system for a reported $4 million. Many election experts have expressed concern that automatic voter registration could be vulnerable to fraud.
Gloria had worked in the Clark County elections office since 1995. The county has had at least eight convictions related to election fraud since 2011, according to The Heritage Foundation’s election fraud database. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
In 2020, Clark County got $2.4 million in Zuckerberg-funded election administration grants.
Finding ways into election offices is a growing trend among organizations on the Left. Beginning in late 2022, the Center for Tech and Civic Life joined with several other nonprofit organizations—including those funded by Arabella Advisors and the Democracy Fund—to establish the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, which has also doled out grants to various election offices.
“That’s why the takeover of the Election Center is so alarming—the Left has transformed a trusted, nonpartisan group into a biased shop for churning out ‘progressives’ with an ideological axe to grind,” said Ludwig. “Unless conservatives step up and develop a neutral center, election officials trying to do their job in small and rural counties will be left with no alternatives to receive vital training. The consequences of that will be felt for a generation if we don’t fight back.”
Patrick began as an election official in Maricopa County, Arizona, before going to work for several left-leaning organizations. She has advocated for more mail-in voting, another process that election experts have expressed concern about because it can be vulnerable to fraud. From 2014 to 2017, she worked for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank that combines both Republican and Democrat ideas into policy recommendations.
Patrick praised the 2020 election in a May 2021 interview with PBS, saying, “The other challenge here is that the public has not been told the truth.” She told PBS: “They have not been told the truth that last year was the most secure, most observed, most transparent, most audited election in U.S. history with the most number of voters. That is the truth.”
In March, Patrick also blamed critics of an interstate voter data sharing system for eight conservative-leaning states making an exit. The states departed the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, after determining it had partisan Democrat leanings and failed to keep voter registration lists clean.
“The weaponizing of any election administration function is problematic—particularly when it is not based on factual evidence to appease a particular faction or is done under partisan pressures,” Patrick told The Guardian. “Voter list maintenance and registering voters in as efficient a manner as possible should not be viewed as partisan when done properly.”
Shortly after Gloria was hired as co-CEO of The Election Center, he was called on to testify before Congress. During an April 27 House Administration Committee hearing on election integrity, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, R-N.Y., asked witnesses, including Gloria, about a law allowing noncitizens to vote in District of Columbia local elections.
Others on the panel objected to the D.C. law. However, Gloria hedged and responded: “I’d rather not express an opinion. We’re not here to endorse anything as The Election Center, or quite frankly, as an election official. We administered; we weren’t involved with [making] policy.”
As The Daily Signal previously reported, in 2020 under Gloria’s administration, Clark County sent out more than 93,000 mail-in ballots to undeliverable addresses—addresses that were no longer legitimate. This was discovered by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative watchdog group.
House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil, R-Wis., asked Gloria about these undeliverable ballots during the hearing, to which Gloria said he “absolutely” had confidence in the Clark County voter registration lists.
“I have to tell you it’s a bit of a unique county in that it is very transient,” Gloria said. “A lot of people come into Clark County and then they leave. There is a challenge in dealing with that.”
Steil followed up with a question about Clark County becoming part of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, an alliance that includes the Arabella Advisors-backed Center for Secure and Modern Elections.
Referencing one of the Arabella Advisors network’s top donors, Hansjorg Wyss, a Swiss citizen, Steil asked Gloria if he was aware that the alliance included funding from a foreign national.
“If we had known at the time, it would’ve been something that I would’ve made our [Clark County election] commission aware of,” Gloria admitted.
The Election Center did not respond to inquiries from The Daily Signal for this story. However, several board members commented on the hiring in a December press release.
“Both Tammy and Joe are respected members of the election community, bringing years of election experience as well as being valued members of The Election Center,” said Susan Gill, a board member and the former supervisor of elections in Citrus County, Florida. “We are confident they will bring great energy and ideas to The Election Center.”
The Election Center board has current or former officials from four Democrat-leaning localities and two Republican-leaning counties as well as two former state election officials and two Auburn University professors.
Dean Logan is the registrar-recorder and county clerk of Los Angeles County, California, which votes about 71% Democrat.
Alice Miller is the former executive director of the District of Columbia Board of Elections. Washington is known for voting 90% Democrat.
Derek Bowens is the director of elections in Durham County, North Carolina, the most heavily Democrat county in the state, voting blue by as much as 80%.
Shauna Dozier is the director of the Clayton County, Georgia, Board of Elections and Registration, where as many as 84% voted Democrat in recent elections.
Gill’s Citrus County, Florida, leans Republican by as much as 70%.
Steve Moreno is the chairman of board of commissioners in Weld County, Colorado, where almost 60% have voted Republican in recent elections.
Two board members are former state election officials.
Julie Pearson is a former member of the South Dakota Board of Elections. South Dakota leans Republican.
Tom Wilkey is a former executive director of the New York State Board of Elections. New York leans heavily blue.
Two other board members—Kathleen Hale and Mitchell Brown—are Auburn University professors.
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