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New Grassroots Organization Offers Rides To Early Voting, Ballot Drop Box

The early voting center at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

The pandemic is raising concerns over safely voting on Election Day, while some question the reliability of the U.S. Postal Service. Many voters now want to either cast their vote or drop off their ballot in person, and  new grassroots organization in Columbus wants to help.

Columbus Stand Up is organizing a sort of rideshare for early voting. People who want a ride to the county board of elections can call a number and schedule a pick-up, to either cast their ballot in person or drop off an absentee ballot.

“The name of the game right now is recruiting as many drivers as possible, making sure they have a good set up in their car, and then identifying these voters that are going to need these rides in order to exercise their right to vote,” says Morgan Harper, Columbus Stand Up organizer a former congressional candidate and

To prevent coronavirus spread, the group is limiting each ride to one household, requiring masks and putting up barriers within the vehicles.

Harper says the most common response is appreciation.

“Gratitude, maybe a little bit of surprise that it could be this easy,” she says. “And then ultimately, people just wanting to get down to business and figure out how to vote because everyone knows this election is really important.”

While she’s happy to organize the effort, Harper is frustrated that it’s needed.

“This is a travesty that we have to spend our time doing this instead of having a government that just makes it as easy as possible for people to vote. That would be ideal,” she says.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.