As an act of appreciation for engaging in the democratic process, Vote.org will send food trucks to crowded polling places in key swing states on Election Day to hand out free treats to patient voters.
The nonpartisan voter engagement organization is focusing its food truck program on polling places in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin that are expected to have disproportionately long lines — or have laws that make the voting process more challenging and time-consuming.
"Vote.org aims to make voting more joyful for all eligible voters, and providing food and drinks for people forced to wait in long voting lines is a natural extension of that work," says Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org. "Importantly, it's also the humane thing to do."
Cooper Neill for The Washington Post via Getty
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Vote.org, which has spent most of the election season focused on boosting voter registration and encouraging voter turnout, is now in its final stage of work for the 2022 midterms — making sure people have a pleasant voting experience, even if it requires some Americans to set aside a hefty chunk of time to cast their ballots.
"Food trucks won't solve the problem of long lines, but Vote.org hopes it will make the process of voting safer and more comfortable for thousands of voters across the country," Hailey says. "Voters must be able to safely exercise the right to vote, and this program will especially aim to help communities that are already experiencing increased food insecurity."
Turning out to vote is a vital process in United States government, a way to guarantee that elected officials reflect the American people and understand where their constituents' heads are at. Polling only does so much to gauge public opinion — filling out a ballot is the ultimate survey.
As some states pass increasingly strict voting laws surrounding ID requirements, absentee ballots and access to polling locations — each of which drive a wedge between voters and their ballots — millions of Americans have been tasked with putting in legwork to exercise their voice. Small incentives like handing out free food to voters can go a long way toward preventing fatigue and encouraging full participation.
Between the 2020 general election and follow-up runoff elections in Georgia, Vote.org handed out more than 47,000 free servings of food. The practice was subsequently banned in Georgia in a move criticized as purposefully disenfranchising Black voters by keeping them from the polls, but that hasn't deterred the organization from continuing to make a difference in states that welcome a little extra cheer.
"Ideally, voters should be able to vote in 30 minutes or less, but until that day comes, Vote.org will be here to serve food and drinks to all those who wish to be engaged and active members of their community," Hailey says. "We cannot let voter suppression efforts rob us of our joy."
Check your voter registration, locate your polling place, and make a voting plan at Vote.org to ensure that your voice is heard this election season.