Funeral Homes Want to Give Older Americans a Ride

They plan to drive up to 300K people to the polls on Election Day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2020 1:49 PM CDT
For Voters Only: Free, Smooth Rides
Stock photo.   (Getty/Robert Daly)

Some old voters could ride in style to the polls on Election Day, thanks to an offer from ... funeral homes. The National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association expects to offer free rides to up to 300,000 people nationwide on Nov. 3, including in Baltimore, Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Kansas City, according to a statement, the AP reports. Hari P. Close, the organization’s national president and owner of Hari P. Close Funeral Service in Baltimore, said funeral home directors hope to transport up to 21,000 people in his city alone. The program aims to serve those 55 and older but won't turn down any ride requests.

The initiative has helped get people to the polls in Baltimore for 25 years, and ridership peaked on election days in 2008 and 2012, Close said. He emphasized that transportation is even more crucial this year, as people attempt to vote safely during the pandemic and may have to travel farther with reduced polling places. "Now we’re the above-ground railroad to get people to the polls, no matter where they stand on issues," Close said. The vehicles will be sanitized before and after voters get in, and masks are required for drivers and passengers, the organization said. Vehicle capacity will be limited, and the limousines will only transport groups of people within the same household. Disinfected chairs will also be provided for seniors who may have to sit in lines at the polls.

(More voting stories.)

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