As the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election draws near, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan plan to donate $300 million to help prepare for elections during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Zuckerberg, “Priscilla and I are personally supporting two non-partisan organizations that are working to make sure every voter’s voice can be heard this November.”
Reuters reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, both of whom run the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative charitable foundation, plan to donate $300 million to help with preparations for the upcoming presidential election amidst the Chinese virus pandemic.
Zuckerberg and Chan plan to donate to two non-partisan organizations in order to help them recruit poll workers, rent polling places, purchase PPE kits for poll workers, and a number of other measures needed to ensure that voting stations will be safe as the pandemic continues. The organizations they have chosen are the Center for Tech and Civic Life and the Center for Election Innovation & Research.
In a Facebook post about the issue, Zuckerberg stated:
I’m concerned that our country’s election infrastructure faces many new challenges this year because of the Covid pandemic. There will be historic levels of voting by mail, and increased need for poll workers and equipment to support contact-free voting. Election officials across the country are working hard to ensure that everyone can vote and every vote can be counted — and we want to help make sure they have the resources they need to do this.
Priscilla and I are personally supporting two non-partisan organizations that are working to make sure every voter’s voice can be heard this November. We are committing $250 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life to provide funding for local counties to have the staffing, training, and equipment they need. This will go towards recruiting poll workers (including hazard pay and training), renting polling places, buying PPE for poll workers, providing temporary staffing, supporting drive-through voting, and more. We are committing another $50 million to The Center for Election Innovation & Research that will go to Secretary of State offices across the country — in both red and blue states — that are working to ensure states’ electoral systems are secure and voters are informed.
Zuckerberg added that the $300 million donation was in addition to the work that Facebook is doing to promote the largest voting registration campaign in American history which aims to help more than 4 million people register to vote.