Early voting has seen big turn out in Macon-Bibb County with the numbers going over 23,000 as of Thursday according to data gathered from the Bibb-County Board of Elections.
However, it has not come without some controversy. A post circulating on social media shows a Macon-Bibb County van at the Board of Elections with potential voters getting in and out of it. Many have questioned the legality of the van transporting people to vote.
Chris Floore, with the Office of Public Affairs, said that the van is offered as a service through the Macon-Bibb County senior center. It is part of the recreation department.
“We pick up and drop off seniors. We bring them to our senior center and take them home at the end of the day for those who are unable to drive,” Floore said. “One of our programs that has been in place for several years is that if they like, we will take them to early vote on the way home in the afternoon.”
While those rides are only offered to participants in the senior center programs, there are other options available for those needing transportation to the polls.
Uber and Lyft are both offering discounted prices on Election Day. Uber sent out free rides offers to 15,000 people. Those who did not get the free ride promo code can still get $10 of with promo code “Election Day.” Before requesting a ride, users should enter the code in the payment area. Users can then request a ride using the polling place locator within the app. The code cannot be used for rides from polling locations.
Lyft has partnered with several nonprofit organizations, including Vote.org, Nonprofit Vote and TurboVote, to offer 50 percent off promo codes, according to its website.
The Bethel AME church has partnered with Universal Transit to provide rides to the polls on Election Day. Pastor Marvin Colbert says voters can contact him or Carlton Kitchens, the founder of Universal Transit, for more information.
“We are doing a ‘souls to the polls’ type of campaign,” Colbert said. “Call my number and we will have someone come out and take you to the polls and back home.”
Kitchens said that he wanted to offer a service to the community that doesn’t worry about party lines. Republicans, Democrats and Independents are all welcome.
“It is a civic duty,” Kitchens said. “It is looking out for the fellow man and the democracy of the country. It is for those people who just can’t get there.”
“Roll to the Poll” is another service offered to all residents in Macon-Bibb County. To get a ride with the Roll to the Poll program, voters can contact Quinton Tard on Facebook or by giving him a call.
“Our goal is to voter educate, voter registrate and voter transportate,” Tard said. “It is their choice whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent, our job is to transportate.”
Contact information for those mentioned in the story are listed below:
Bethel AME: (478) 737-3968
Carlton Kitchens: (478) 960-3399
Roll to the Poll: (478) 812-2959