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Arnold Schwarzenegger Offers to Grants to Reopen Polling Places

Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced on Wednesday that he’ll present grants to permit native jurisdictions to reopen polling locations, largely within the South.

The initiative represents a major departure for the previous California governor, who has till now centered his election reform actions virtually solely on gerrymandering.

Schwarzenegger is focusing on the trouble to states previously coated by Part 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court docket in 2013. He was impressed by a report that discovered greater than 1,600 polling locations in Part 5 jurisdictions had closed between 2012 and 2018.

“As I learn tales about counties that solely have one voting location for tons of of sq. miles and individuals who wait in line for 4 hours to vote, I began excited about this increasingly more and realized the answer is straightforward,” Schwarzenegger wrote in a letter to 6,000 elections officers. “When you have a finances drawback that retains you from reopening polling stations, I need to assist.”

He mentioned the grants can be “the most effective investments I’ve ever made.”

The eligible jurisdictions are in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia.

The grants shall be administered by the Schwarzenegger Institute on the College of Southern California. It’s unclear what number of jurisdictions will apply, or how a lot it can price.

“He hasn’t put a cap on it,” mentioned Daniel Ketchell, Schwarzenegger’s chief of employees. “It’ll in all probability be a number of million {dollars}.”

Schwarzenegger has not endorsed within the presidential race. He backed former Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2016, and mentioned he wouldn’t vote for President Trump within the 2016 basic election.

Within the letter to elections officers, he mentioned the grant course of can be non-partisan, and that grants can be awarded primarily based on the best want.

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