Zuckerberg, Chan Just Gave Huge Boost to Election Setup

Goal of $300M donation: 'to preserve the integrity of our elections'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2020 9:45 AM CDT
Zuckerberg, Chan Offer $300M in Election Funding
In this Sept. 20, 2016, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, smile as they prepare for a speech in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are donating $300 million to help secure the November election. The majority of that—some $250 million—will go to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit that seeks to modernize US elections, according to a Tuesday announcement, per Axios. The remaining $50 million will go to the Center for Election Innovation & Research, a nonprofit focused on increasing voter participation and improving election efficiency. "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 couple said in a joint statement, acknowledging the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left many areas struggling financially.

The CTCL will redistribute funds to local jurisdictions to assist with staffing, training, and equipment—from polling place rentals and equipment to process ballots to personal protective equipment for poll workers. The CEIR will use its portion to "scale up" existing efforts "to engage in more effective civic outreach ... combat disinformation, and inform voters of their options." David Becker, CEIR's executive director, emphasized the need to "bolster transparency and legitimacy" as "the threat of disinformation could greatly diminish voters' confidence in [the] democratic process." "When so much is changing around us, Americans need to know now more than ever how to make their voice heard," added Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. "These dollars are going to go a long way to making that happen." (Zuckerberg denies that he has a deal with President Trump.)

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