The 2020 election may be one of the most costly yet. State and federal lawmakers need to cover the costs of new equipment, protective gear and more staff to handle the surge of mail-in voting expected this year. The CARES Act allocated $400 million to election agencies to help update voting systems, but the Brennan Center for Justice, a voting rights advocacy group, estimated that it could cost $4 billion to prep election offices across the country, the Associated Press reported. Democrats have pushed for further election funding as part of a second stimulus bill, but that measure has not been included in Republicans’ version of the bill — and it’s unclear if any bill will even pass before Election Day.
To help cover some of the additional costs, nonprofits and charities have been making big donations to ensure that elections can run smoothly on Nov. 3. Take a look at who has been donating to the cause.
Center for Tech and Civic Life
- Amount donated: $20 million
The nonpartisan nonprofit’s donations have been used to quadruple Philadelphia’s mail ballot processing capacity and recruit as many as 1,000 new poll workers in Milwaukee. In Fulton County, Georgia, the donation will help keep more polling places open, the Associated Press reported.
The Center recently received two donations totaling $350 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.
Center for Election Innovation
- Amount donated: N/A
Zuckerberg and Chan also made a $50 million donation to the Center for Election Innovation, the Associated Press reported. The nonprofit said the funds will be used for public information campaigns explaining mail balloting procedures and logistics on pandemic voting.
- Amount donated: $3.2 million
Majority Forward is a not-for-profit organization “created to support voter registration and voter turnout efforts,” according to the group’s website. “Our primary mission is to encourage full participation by voters in our election process.”
Black Progressive Action Coalition
- Amount donated: $1.65 million
This independent progressive coalition has a number of initiatives, including one focusing on expanding voting rights and access to the ballot. The Black Progressive Action Coalition wants to ensure voting rights for the formerly convicted and give communities a say in all of the policies that affect them, including development, zoning and gentrification plans.
Climate Reality Action Fund
- Amount donated: $1.57 million
The Climate Action Reality Fund aims to increase the overall voter registration and turnout of millennials and Gen Z voters across party lines. The group is also dedicating funds to protecting the vote — “working for safe and secure voting solutions like vote-by-mail that protect Americans’ health and voice in democracy in the middle of a global pandemic.”
House Majority Forward
- Amount donated: $1.06 million
House Majority Forward’s objective is to “increase 2020 voter turnout amongst people of color, women and young voters.” The group aimed to achieve this by educating potential voters about simple, safe and secure ways to cast a ballot and by investing in national and state-based voter mobilization programs.
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