Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are committing a total of $300 million to two nonprofit organizations to promote safe and reliable voting during the global coronavirus pandemic.
"Due to the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 will have on voting across the country, election officials are working around the clock to make sure that every voter has the ability to participate safely and have their vote counted," Chan and Zuckerberg wrote in a joint statement.
"Many counties and states are strapped financially and working to determine how to staff and fund operations that will allow for ballots to be cast and counted in a timely way.
"These donations will help to provide local and state officials across the country with the resources, training, and infrastructure necessary to ensure that every voter who intends to cast a ballot is able to, and ultimately, to preserve the integrity of our elections."
The Center for Tech and Civic Life is receiving the $250 million to regrant to local voting jurisdictions for staffing, training, and equipment needed for this November's election.
"We all depend on election officials to provide safe and secure voting options to the public," Tiana Epps-Johnson, CTCL executive director, said in the release. "Unfortunately, election departments face unprecedented challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19. This expansion of our COVID-19 Response Grant program provides our country's election officials and poll workers with the critical resources they need to safely serve every voter."
The Center for Election Innovation & Research is getting $50 million to ensure elections are secure.
"State election officials are facing unprecedented challenges during this election season," David Becker, CEIR executive director, said in the release. "The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in election options and procedures different than voters have ever seen, while the threat of disinformation could greatly diminish voters' confidence in the democratic process.
"This donation will greatly assist election officials as they seek to inform voters about their voting options and any changes, educate them about how they can successfully ensure their ballot is received and counted, and bolster transparency and legitimacy."
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