For the second time in two weeks, the Muscogee County Elections Office has received a major grant.
An institute affiliated with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded $212,000 toward funding the ongoing General Election.
This could allow Director of Elections and Registrations Nancy Boren to get more voting machines in play for the three-weeks of in-person advance voting, which began Monday.
“The grant does allow for us to look for additional days,” Boren said Tuesday morning. “We are working with the Trade Center now to expand the time at the Trade Center, which is a mega site. We will have 60 machines at that location.”
The grant came from USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. The money from the grant came from Schwarzenegger. The grant program started two weeks ago and about 20 elections offices have received funding, according to Christian Grose, the institute’s academic director.
“There are a lot of different localities like Muscogee County that may need some assistance in their elections,” Grose told News 3. “… Arnold is really interested in having more polling sites.”
That is coupled with $412,000 grant from a foundation linked to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. That grant was received two weeks ago.
The $624,000 in grants is being used to pay poll workers and provide hazard pay because they have been classified essential workers.
The only in-person advance voting is taking place at the Citizens Service Center off Macon Road. They have 18 machines active, Boren said.
Four additional advance locations will open during the last week of advance voting. They are at the Trade Center, ice rink at the Civic Center, the Health department on North Veterans Parkway and the Shirley Winston Recreation Center in east Columbus.