“I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’m a fanatic about voting. Most people call closing polls voter suppression. Some say it is ‘budgetary.’ What if I made it easy & solved the budgetary issue? How much would it cost to reopen polling places?” he tweeted on Wednesday.
“This is a serious question,” he continued. “Is closing polling stations about making it harder for minorities to vote, or is it because of budgets? If you say it’s because of your budget, let’s talk.”
This is a serious question. Is closing polling stations about making it harder for minorities to vote, or is it because of budgets? If you say it’s because of your budget, let’s talk.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) September 2, 2020
The article details how nearly 1,200 polling places had closed since the 2013 Supreme Court decision Shelby County v. Holder.
The 5-4 ruling addressed a 1960s-era provision that largely singled out states and districts in the South — those with a history of discrimination — and required them to seek federal permission to change their voting laws.
The court ruled that the formula determining which states are affected was unconstitutional.
In doing so, the court potentially opened the door for certain states to proceed with voter ID laws and other efforts that had been held up because of the Voting Rights Act. Prominent among those are voter identification laws in Alabama and Mississippi.
At the time, it was alleged that the closures — in mainly minority communities — are part of a plan to allow racist voter suppression to occur.
Reuters reported in 2019 that the states in question denied the accusations and cited budget issues as the reason why the polling places could not remain open.
Author: Jessica Napoli