Mark Zuckerberg is doing his part to ensure the validity of the 2020 US elections, while at the same time, in part, compensating for Facebook’s part in the proliferation of false news during the 2016 elections. The billionaire just pledged another $100 million to aid election security this year.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan had previously donated $300 million to the same cause.
“Voting is the foundation of democracy,” says Mark Zuckerberg. “Priscilla and I remain determined to ensure that every state and local election jurisdiction has the resources they need so Americans can vote.”
Already this year there have been many accusations of voter suppression, intimidation, and ballot box stuffing from both sides. Democrats and supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden claim that Republican State officials are trying to suppress votes and to make it harder for minorities and the people in Democratic districts to vote by mail or through early voting.
Democrats believe that their supporters are more likely to be afraid of going to the polls on Election Day due to fears of the Corona Virus. They also accuse Republicans of encouraging groups to intimidate voters at the polls.
President Trump, for his part, has already questioned the validity of the elections. He claims that there is evidence of ballot box stuffing and has accused local Democratic officials of throwing out the applications for mail in ballots from Republican voters.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the new donation in a Facebook post.
“Between Covid and insufficient public funding for elections, there are unprecedented challenges for election officials working to make sure everyone can vote safely this year. Last month Priscilla and I donated $300 million to support election officials with the infrastructure they need to administer the vote – including voting equipment, PPE for poll workers and hiring additional poll staff.”
Zuckerberg expressed his surprise at the response to his earlier donations saying that more than 2,100 local election jurisdictions have already submitted applications to Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) for support. This, he explains, prompted the additional $100 million donation.
Not everyone has been happy with the Zuckerberg largesse, however. Some maintain that it is being used as a toll to funnel money in support of specific candidates and political platforms.
In response he said, “That’s false. These funds will serve communities throughout the country — urban, rural and suburban – and are being allocated by non-partisan organizations.”
“The shared data on the grant applications so far that shows that while a number of large jurisdictions have applied, the majority of applications have come from jurisdictions with fewer than 25,000 registered voters. All qualified jurisdictions that apply for the funds will be approved,” he explained.