On Wednesday, September 23rd, the Schwarzenegger Institute launched the Democracy Grants for Voting Access & Election Administration. See below for the note from our Chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing the launch.
Dear elections officials and good government organizations,
The United States gave me everything I have, and I believe it is my duty to repay the kindness of this country every day of my life. Everything I achieved – my bodybuilding success, my movie roles, my investments, my governorship, my family – would have been impossible anywhere but America.
I’ve read news stories about over a thousand polling locations closing around the country, even before the pandemic, and I’ve seen over and over that these closures are based on a lack of funding. As a former Governor who had to make a lot of cuts I didn’t like, I completely understand the dilemmas of a budget crunch.
As someone who has been a fanatic about voting since I became a citizen in 1983, I want every American to have equal access to the right to vote – yes, even the people who voted against me! As I read stories about counties that only have one voting location for hundreds of square miles and people who wait in line for four hours to vote, I started thinking about this more and more and realized the solution is easy. If you have a budget problem that keeps you from reopening polling stations, I want to help. I made millions because of this country, and spending my money to help my fellow Americans vote is the least I can do.
I am making grants available for local and state elections officials who want to reopen polling stations they closed because of a lack of funding. These grants are completely non-partisan and will be offered to those who demonstrate the greatest need and ability to close gaps in voting access. I don’t care if you are an independent authority, a Democratic elections official, or a Republican elections official – I just don’t want a single American to lose their ability to vote because of a lack of funding. I think this could be one of the best investments I have ever made.
You can apply for the grants right now, and we will be getting the money out as fast as possible. I know the next month is crucial for setting up this infrastructure, so please apply as soon as you can. You can fill out the form here: https://www.pollingaccessgrants.org. We will get back to you within a week.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope this can be a win for all of the fantastic citizens of our country.