During a new appearance on CNN, Arnold Schwarzenegger — the actor and former California governor — starkly criticized the current state of the Republican Party, no matter his own longtime affiliation with the GOP. Discussing his own recent grant money to support expanded polling place access across the South, Schwarzenegger harshly criticized the GOP’s stark ambivalence towards critical voting rights issues, insisting that the Republican Party “should not stand for gerrymandering or cheating on the elections or having voter suppression.”
Broadly, Schwarzenegger also called for a new Voting Rights Act after the U.S. Supreme Court significantly undercut the original 1965 Voting Rights Act with an infamous 2013 decision that certain localities no longer needed to submit prospective changes to election-related rules to the federal government for “pre-clearance.” This pre-clearance process allowed federal authorities to intervene before the implementation of potentially discriminatory election rules. As of late last year, Southern authorities had closed about 1,200 polling places since the U.S. Supreme Court hollowed out the Voting Rights Act after other polling place closures shortly before that infamous decision.
Schwarzenegger commented as follows, discussing his support for polling places:
‘I felt very strongly that I should invest in our democracy, and that means that I recognized the fact that we had closed so many polling stations since 2013, since the Supreme Court made that decision that we don’t really need the Voting Rights Act anymore, and since then, they closed 1600 polling stations, and that really has an effect, that I felt, was, you know, kind of unjustifiable — that minorities in the South were not able to vote exactly the same way as we were voting everywhere else, and this is why I decided that I’m going to open up polling places and I’m going to go and invest and put my own money… to open up more polling stations.’
Schwarzenegger also offered his observations about Trump’s loss, noting that — rather than some kind of nefarious conspiracy, as the outgoing president himself might suggest — Trump lost because Americans “obviously… felt that he fell short.” Schwarzenegger commented as follows on CNN:
‘I think with Trump it was very simply, that you know, four years ago, they voted for Trump because he promised them a certain amount of things. I think the second time, when you get re-elected or want to get re-elected it’s more about what promises did you keep and how did you perform as the leader, and I think that’s where, obviously, people felt that he fell short, and so, this is why he was voted out.’
Check out his comments below: