The Federal Election Commission told 13WMAZ that its rules do not apply to PACs giving out grocery vouchers.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ga. — 200 lucky shoppers in rural Twiggs County now have $50 worth of groceries thanks to 34N22, a super political action committee, or super PAC, backing U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker.
But is it legal for a Super PAC like this to do this? We set out to check.
Our sources are the US Code and the Federal Election Committee.
“Support Herschel. Support Herschel in the fall,” Stephen Lawson told 34N22.
“It helps a lot because you know the food being eaten has increased,” Teondra King said.
Dozens of people showed up at Piggly Wiggly on Tuesday morning with a new band voucher.
“I’m completely shocked. Like you didn’t expect this in Jeffersonville,” client Melissa Davis said.
Some buyers already knew before Tuesday who they planned to vote for this month of November.
“I really like Herschel Walker. I pretty much agree with what he stands for. It’s a great thing he does,” Davis said.
Others like Jacqulyn Blackshear say that voucher prompted them to vote for Walker this fall.
“Really, I hadn’t thought of that, but now I know Herschel is going to be number one,” Blackshear said.
Several Democrats have criticized the PAC’s strategy of handing out grocery and gas vouchers given Georgia’s new election law that prohibits groups from handing out refreshments to voters lining up to vote.
Under federal and state law, it is illegal for anyone to pay or give anything of value in exchange for a vote.
In this case, the PAC gives the vouchers to anyone and without conditions, which makes it legal.
“We’re handing them out unconditionally. There will definitely be some undecided come November, but we’re just trying to give them an option,” Lawson said.
We also asked the Federal Election Commission if it’s legal. They oversee Super PACs like 34N22.
The agency says their rules don’t address PACs that give out vouchers for groceries. However, if a PAC spends funds to purchase vouchers, the PAC may be required to disclose disbursements for those purchases in its FEC campaign finance reports.
We checked, yes, under federal law it is legal for the super PAC to distribute grocery coupons.