By DAVID LOPEZ
BROWNSVILLE—A celebrity surprised officials during Tuesday’s Cameron County Commissioner’s Court virtual regular meeting. Former actor and ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared briefly at the Zoom meeting to discuss a county’s elections office grant.
Schwarzenegger dropped in during the public comments sections of the Commissioner’s meeting to declare Cameron County as the first recipient of the University of South Carolina Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy grant. According to Schwarzenegger, the grant totals $250,973 and will be dedicated to the county’s voter access and polling operations, two “supercenter” sites to handle 20-24,000 voters.
“You know, so many people are out there talking about and inspiring people to go out and vote, and I said, ‘That is all great,’ but if you don’t have the ability to vote, it makes it very difficult,” Schwarzenegger told commissioners present. So I said, ‘Let’s open up some more of the centers.”
The actor-turned-governor stressed that this grant aims to help areas where polling stations have or are in danger of closing down because of financial reasons, saying he is a fan of getting people to participate in the democratic process.
The Brownsville Event Center and Harlingen Convention Center will be hosting the supercenters, which will potentially feature drive-through and/or curbside voting, according to a press release from County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr.
“I think it’s a very important time now that we all do as much as we can so that people have the ability to participate in voting and to make decisions because, as you know, those are very important decisions, so we just have to give people the opportunity to do that,” said the former governor at the virtual meeting.
Lastly, Judge Trevino extended Schwarzenegger an invitation to visit Cameron County when the pandemic is over, which he accepted.
“I will be remembering that you invited me to come and visit you guys,” the ex-governor said during his closing remarks. “Thank you very much. I’ll be back.”
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