It sounds like a bad conspiracy theory: Chair of the Philadelphia City Commission for elections takes money from Mark Zuckerberg to fund poll-worker “street money,” leading to potential voter disenfranchisement in the 2020 Presidential Election. However, the evidence is beginning to surface show that this is exactly what might have happened.
The Philadelphia City Commission is “a three-member bipartisan board of elected officials in charge of elections and voter registration for the City of Philadelphia,” according to its website. Its purpose is to “set and enforce department policies to administer voter registration and conduct elections in accordance with federal and state voter registration and election laws.” In other words, the Philadelphia City Commission is responsible for ensuring the elections in their city are operating according to the laws on the books. The Chair of the Commission is Lisa Deeley. Before being on the Commission, Deeley worked for former Democratic State Representative and City Controller Alan Butkovitz.
So, what does Lisa Deeley and the Philadelphia City Commission have anything to do with “street money” and Mark Zuckerburg?
Alan Butkovitz, Deeley’s long-time employer, was the chair of the 2020 “Coordinated Campaign for the Philadelphia Democratic Party,” which raised “street money.” “Street money” is the term for cash paid on Election Day to volunteers manning the polls and turning out voters. Essentially, the money raised in the “Coordinated Campaign” would be used to pay the very poll workers Commissioner Deeley was responsible for training to ensure election laws would be followed.
Due to a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, we now know that there potentially were discrepancies between how Philadelphia poll workers have operated the election and the laws they were to follow. For example, poll workers were allowed to “pre-canvas” ballots and contact voters to cure them before Election Day, even though this is in direct violation of Pennsylvania Election Law. Voters in counties who did follow the law could not cure their ballot, and therefore, their vote was not counted.
While both the Obama and Clinton campaigns refused to pay “street money” in their presidential races, it appears that money from the Zuckerburg funded Center for Tech and Civic Life made up the difference in 2020. As previously reported by the PT News Network, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life. On August 21, 2020, the Philadelphia City Commission received a $10 million grant to help run the 2020 election. Included in that grant was $851,500 to pay poll workers. Chair Lisa Deeley made the motion to accept the funds. By September, they were recruiting poll workers, offering the highest maximum stipend allowed by state law.
In conclusion, Lisa Deeley helped create the policies and procedures for the 2020 General Election in Philadelphia that poll workers would use. Her long-time boss was the chair of a Democratic fundraising organization to pay poll workers – a long time vestige of Philadelphia’s politics machine. She made the motion for her city to receive $10 million in funds to fund poll-workers pay at the highest possible rate from a Mark Zuckerberg funded organization, which gave most of its grants to Democratic strongholds. And the Trump Campaign is suing the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and Philadelphia County Board of Elections for failing to implement policies and procedures that aligned with Pennsylvania election law, causing the possible casting of illegal votes in the 2020 General Election.
While there isn’t enough evidence at this point to prove a clear connection of voter fraud between City Commission Chair Lisa Deeley, “street money” for poll workers, and the Zuckerberg funded Center for Tech and Civic Life, something certainly smells fishy in Philadelphia.