The federal Election Assistance Commission has still not accounted for $74 million worth of election aid given to states in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic — and congressional Republicans suspect widespread abuse.
“The EAC is supposed to be a watchdog,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) told Fox News. “But it turns out it has been a bad actor, spending large sums of money with little transparency.”
The EAC disbursed $400 million to states under the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed in March of 2020 — but has explained only $326 million of that spending to Congress, a Government Accountability Office audit found.
The funding was meant to support efforts to make voting in the presidential election safer — but Comer, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and other Republicans have charged that some of it was used for partisan purposes.
California spent $12 million of its EAC grant to help pay for a $35 million contract with SKDKnickerbocker — a Democratic consulting firm working for then-candidate Joe Biden — on an ad campaign dubbed “Vote Safe California.”
The Election Assistance Commission has still not accounted for $74 million worth of election aid given to states in 2020 during COVID-19.Bloomberg via Getty Images
As part of that outreach effort, the firm used state election rolls to “microtarget” voters, sparking protests from the GOP.
“To me, that’s what a political firm would do,” Comer said. “Do we think they were microtargeting Republican voters?”