Local volunteers help those who vote

staff report

Marianne Holland remembers watching the Democratic convention very well.

“Michelle Obama was speaking about early voting,” Holland said. “She said ‘you have to make a plan, the lines are going to be long so bring a sack lunch and don’t go home’.”

That thought was going through Holland’s mind as she drove to Krannert Park Saturday morning to cast her vote.

“I drove over there Saturday and saw the lines and thought ‘well this isn’t going to work’,” Holland said.

So she got on the phone and called up some of her friends — all westsiders who just like to help — and they informally organized a plan to feed those waiting in line.

“Our group is just a bunch of people who care about the community,” she said. “We saw a need to focus on Krannert and it has worked out.”

Holland and her group spent the weekend taking snacks and water and hand sanitzer to Krannert and are working on making sure volunteers are there each day this week to help feed and entertain the long lines of people expected to vote early.

“People are giving us donations of money, food or water and we’re coordinating shifts of volunteers for the busiest times,” she said. “We just like to help out when we can.”

Holland is looking for volunteers this week and this weekend. Early voting ends on Monday. If interested in volunteering, the link to sign up for times is https://signup.com/go/PvGYnmW.

“We saw lots of young people in line over the weekend and that’s awesome to see,” Holland said. “We asked and a lot of them were first-time votes so we’d love to get teachers and students out there to help us.”

Holland hopes to have volunteers at Krannert during the busiest times this week and this weekend. She anticipates needing help 4-6 hours per day, mostly after school.

As of today, Holland has not voted. She plans on voting Tuesday, but she has a hard time understanding why some counties — lines in Marion County have been as long as seven hours — have longer wait times then others.

“Every American should have the same process for early voting so it’s clear and simple for the voter,” Holland said. “To have to wait in long lines seems ridiculous. It should be easier than that.”