Voter Vans provide rides to the polls

Volunteer+for+the+Voter+Van+Linda%2C+57%2C+sits+in+her+van+parked+next+to+the+Esplanade+between+Stopher+Hall+and+the+Art+Building+on+Election+Day+Nov.+8%2C+2016.+The+Voter+Van+initiative+is+a+part+of+the+League+of+Women+Voters%2C+with+the+idea+being+for+volunteers+like+Linda+to+take+voters+to+polls.

Volunteer for the Voter Van Linda, 57, sits in her van parked next to the Esplanade between Stopher Hall and the Art Building on Election Day Nov. 8, 2016. The Voter Van initiative is a part of the League of Women Voters, with the idea being for volunteers like Linda to take voters to polls.

Erin Zaranec

It’s a common saying: every vote counts. For some voters, though, a lack of accessible transportation on voting day may prevent them from making an impact.

Voter Vans will be stationed outside of the Kent State Student Center, Beall and McDowell Halls and Stopher and Johnson / Bowman Halls from 10:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m on Election Day. Sponsored by Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government, Ohio Student Action, League of Women Voters and the Kent State Women’s Center, the goal of the shuttles is to get students to polling locations throughout the city of Kent.

“The key to voting tomorrow is to vote in the right precinct, the one where you lay your head at night. If you don’t go to the right precinct, your vote doesn’t count. That’s what we want to avoid,” said Barb Hipsman Springer, the voter service co-chair of the League of Women Voters.

Voter Vans started through the League of Women Voters in 2004 under the name Moms with Minivans, with the goal of making sure voters could get to their designated precinct with accessible transportation.

The vans are hosted by non-partisan organizations with voters from all parties able to use the free service.

“All drivers have been instructed to not talk politics,” said Hipsman Springer. “If students have questions, they’ll help them out, but we’ll really just direct them to our website, VOTE411.org, The League always tries to be non-partisan.”

Any voters using the Voting Vans services will need to be properly prepared for the polls. Proof of residence is required along with a current driver’s licence.

Students living in Beall, McDowell and Van Campen Halls vote at the Christian Life Center on E. Summit Road. Students living in Centennial E, Centennial F and Koonce Hall vote at the United Methodist Church on E. Main St. Students living in all other residence halls vote at the Kent State Recreation and Wellness Center. 

Erin Zaranec is the entertainment editor, contact her at [email protected]