WACO, Texas – Several organizations are sending volunteers to voting sites Tuesday to help make the wait to cast their vote an enjoyable one.
Texas has already experienced record-breaking numbers in Early Voting. The state surpassed 9 million voters Friday – more than the entirety of the 2016 election.
Jackie Rhodes, the leader of Project V.I.E.R. (Voter Information, Education and Registration), knows the wait in line has not been a deal-breaker.
“Based on what I’m seeing at the Early Voting, yeah. They stay as long as they need to stay,” Rhodes said. “It’s amazing.”
Rhodes and Dr. Peaches Henry, the president of the Waco branch of N.A.A.C.P., are just two of the people leading volunteer groups on Election Day. They will be handing out essentials like food, drinks, lawn chairs, masks and phone chargers to people in line.
“We believe that people are engaged, but at the same time people are human. They get tired. They get thirsty. They get hungry,” Henry said. “Sometimes it’s not easy to remain in a line. And so, we want to provide them every encouragement and comfort that we can provide them.”
Instead of helping voters just survive the lines, they are trying to make it a celebration.
“We want to create a party atmosphere, because we believe it is a moment to celebrate,” Henry said. “That’s what we want to do. Is to help people to realize that this is a moment that we’re gonna celebrate their right to cast their vote.”
One of the concerns for volunteers is that people might be too timid to come out to voting centers in fear that they might become harbors for a super spread of COVID.
“I want to be safe,” Rhodes said. “All the volunteers, everybody we gather up as volunteers, are being given information on how to be safe.”