DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Lack of a vehicle shouldn’t mean lack of a voice and the Greater Dayton Regional Transportation Authority is working to ensure that isn’t the case, by partnering with community organizations to distribute bus vouchers to those without transportation to the polls.
Executive Director of the Greater Dayton League of Women Voters, Susan Hesselgesser, said she’s excited to be helping Dayton community members exercise their right to vote.
“[RTA was] looking for offices and organizations that were non-partisan and also easily accessible to the public. And obviously voting is very important to us, so we said sure, we’d be glad to help distribute the vouchers.”
The NAACP and East End Community Center also came on board to get the vouchers out to the public. Executive Director at East End, Jan Lepore-Jentleson, said rides will be especially important for the demographic she serves on a daily basis.
“We know that 20 to 30 percent of the people who live in East Dayton don’t actually have transportation, so they were very gracious in giving us 100 bus passes.”
The vouchers will also be useful to those who are handicapped or can’t get to the polls for other reasons.
“It’s sort of a hand-shake deal,” Hesslgesser said. You just have to tell [us] you’re using the pass to vote and then we talk to them a little bit about voting and they’re on their way.”
And with the issues most Americans are currently facing, Lepore – Jentleson said now is a critical time for Americans to step up and participate in their democracy.
“We’ve all said 2020 is one of the toughest years anybody can remember and having your voice heard through the polls is one of the best, and only ways really, that we can affect a different outcome, no matter what your political preference is.”
Free vouchers can be picked up at the League of Women Voters in downtown Dayton, at East End Community Center, or at the NAACP. The free program has already started and will continue through the day before the election, Monday, November 2.