Facebook founder and chief, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, on Tuesday in a Facebook post, announced that they are donating an additional $100 million to the Center for Tech and Civic life to pay for poll workers, polling place rent, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other election equipment.
"We've got a far greater response than we expected from election officials needing funding for voting infrastructure, so today we're committing an additional $100 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life to make sure that every jurisdiction that needs funding to help people vote safely can get it," Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. "So far, more than 2,100 local election jurisdictions have submitted applications to CTCL for support." his post further read.
Earlier, in September Zuckerberg and Priscilla had made a $300 dollar commitment to the Centre for election innovation and Research and CTCL to provide personal protective equipment and voting equipments to election officials and poll workers.
Zuckerberg also said that there's been pushback to their original donation, saying multiple lawsuits have been filed to try and block the funds from being used "based on claims that the organizations receiving donations have a partisan agenda."
Zuckerberg called the accusation false and said the funds "will serve communities throughout the country – urban, rural and suburban – and are being allocated by non-partisan organizations." He also said the government should provide adequate funding for the election.
"To be clear, I agree with those who say that government should have provided these funds, not private citizens, " he wrote. "But absent that funding, I think it's critical that this urgent need is met." the post further read.
The executive director of the CTCL, Tiana Epps Johnson, said that the donations will allow the centre "to continue to meet the tremendous demand".
"every eligible election department that is verified as legitimate will be approved for a grant." The Washington Post quoted Johnson.
Presidential elections in the United States are scheduled for November 3, 2020.
(Reported by Ubair ul Hameed for Madhyamam English)