MacArthur Foundation awards $4.8M in pro-democracy grants

April 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM
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CHICAGO, April 16 (UPI) -- The MacArthur Foundation Monday handed out $4.8 million in grants to help strengthen U.S. Democratic institutions.

The nine grants went to several groups that will "analyze data on political campaign contributions, provide legal expertise to local and state officials on the public financing of campaigns and monitor the federal agencies that have oversight responsibilities for elections." They also will support "informal and substantive policy discussions by members of Congress from across the political spectrum," and make "the elections of judges more transparent and to address the reliability of voting systems and make polling place practices more secure."

"In recent years, we've seen an increasing disconnect between the policy solutions recommended by experts and the ability of our political system to address those ideas in a meaningful way," said MacArthur Foundation President Robert Gallucci. "With these grants we add MacArthur's voice and resources to those of others seeking to ensure that our government can respond more effectively to the issues that matter most to our collective well-being and future."

The Aspen Institute's Congressional Program will receive $1.8 million; the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program, $500,000; the campaign Legal Center, $500,000; the Center for Responsive Politics, $400,000; the Committee for Economic Development, $300,000; the Democracy 21 Education Fund, $200,000; Justice at Stake, $400,000; the National Institute on Money in State Politics, $400,000; and the Verified voting Foundation, $300,000.

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