Drive-thru food distributions double as voter registration sites to increase voter turnout

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)–In an effort to encourage El Pasoans to register to vote, a local organization registered people waiting in line at a church food distribution drive-thru event.

The human rights organization, The Hope Border Institute, kicked off a series of these voter registration events Wednesday morning at Saint Mark’s Catholic Church where the parish was distributing food to families affected by COVID-19.

“Since we are living in a COVID world we had to think outside the box,” Marisa Limon Garza with the Hope Border Institute said.

The group was out at the church before the food distribution started at 6:45 a.m. and registered around 25 people.

“Since folks are already lining up and ready to go for food distribution it made sense to start even before the food distribution starts,” Limon Garza said.

The El Paso County Elections Department said the pandemic has pushed their efforts to register people to vote. Lisa Wise, the Elections Administrator said June is usually when organizations start at festivals or summer concerts.

“The summer is a big-time, you know, a really big time to get registrations, and unfortunately there weren’t any opportunities for organizations to do that this summer,” Wise said.

The Elections Department said this election will be different not only because of COVID-19 but voters will now be able to cast their ballot at any polling site.

“Voters just like early voting will be able to go to any one of those on Election Day they no longer have to go to the one in their precinct or their assigned polling sites,” Lisa Wise said.

The groups tell KTSM it’s important to encourage voter turnout for the presidential election but also to make a local difference.

“Not only is it presidential but its also the mayoral candidates that are running as well as City Council representatives so its a big chance for El Pasoans to make their voice heard and to create the kind of community they want,” Limon Garza said.

The Hope Border Institute will be at other distributions this month at Saint Marks as well as Saint Luke’s Parish and at Holy Spirit in Horizon City. For more information CLICK HERE.

For information on voter registration, CLICK HERE.https://epcountyvotes.com/voter_information/voter_registration

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