Volunteers offering voters reminders and transportation

Volunteers offering voters reminders and transportation
October 30
00:00 2014
(pictured above: Linda Sutton with Constance Bradley (right).)

Democracy Winston-Salem: The Voting Rights Coalition is running an election season phone-bank operation out of Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.

Since Oct. 13, between five and 10 volunteers a day have been calling local residents to get-out-the vote. The names of those who need rides to polling places are also being collected. Several volunteers have signed-up to drive voters to the polls during early voting and on Election Day, said organizer Linda Sutton.

“We have been taking people from University Place, Crystal Towers, Sunrise Towers and several assisted living centers (to vote),” said Sutton. “Helping one person, in my opinion, is shining a light on democracy and shows that people want to vote and that not having transportation is not going to stop them.”

The volunteers make calls from a list compiled by the nonpartisan Voter Activation Network. Residents are informed that early voting has started and that Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4. They are also asked if they need a ride to the polls.

Sutton said the effort targets voters who do not typically vote during Midterm elections.

“We started by calling the top 10 lowest turnout precincts and will move on to the others,” Sutton said. “We have a lot of voters that only think that presidential elections matter. We try to educate people and let them know that all elections matter. More so for Midterm elections because that is where you elect most of your local leaders. Those are the important races that impact how you live.”
Joann Washington is volunteering her time to the effort.



“I thought this was a good way to help. It made me feel like I was doing my duty to make them aware,” Washington said. “I had a lot of people who were aware of early voting, but some were not, and I was able to let them know that we do have transportation to get them there.”

Volunteer Metrice Williams makes calls.

Volunteer Metrice Williams makes calls.

Mertice Williams is another volunteer. She said the importance of voting is something that has always been stressed in her family.

“I’ve always voted and my mother always voted. I remember going, with my mother to pick up my grandmothers, who would always be dressed up to go vote. It was an important day for them,” she said. “Since then, I’ve always thought that I should vote.”

Williams said those who don’t vote have little room to complain about the state of affairs.
“We all should vote because we know what is going on in society and the state. It is almost more important to vote today than it was four years ago because things have changed. We need to make sure that the people in power speak for us,” she said.

For a ride to the polls, contact Linda Sutton at 336-870-2168.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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