Volunteers Help Elderly and Disabled Voters

Outside Bertie Backus Middle School in Northeast Washington, many voters had to stand in line for almost an hour early Tuesday. Inside, Precinct 66 was packed with young and middle-aged voters.

Another voting option took place in the school’s parking lot. For the many elderly and voters with disabilities that have difficulty getting in and out of their cars, their ballots were brought to them. It was an easy process for them. After parking their cars, these voters received ballots on the spot from a poll worker.

“I never thought I would live to vote for a black president,” echoed several elderly voters at the middle school.

Alexis Rice, a volunteer for the polling site, was astonished by the number of persons with disabilities who came early to vote at Backus, which is one of the largest polling sites in Washington.

“Though there are a large number of elderly that live in the neighborhood, there had to be more than 250 elderly and disabled that came this morning alone,” Rice said.

Only three volunteers were helping with the drive-though voting this morning, and no more than six were expected for the entire day.

Janellevo Silvers, 18, the secretary of the NAACP Youth Council of D.C., started volunteering after voting for the first time at the middle school precinct. “I ran into my NAACP advisor, who is one of the poll site captains, and she asked me to stay and help,” Silvers said. “I didn’t mind at all.” Most of the volunteers planned to stay at Backus all day and help voters who don’t have the ability to stand and walk though the voting line.