New Georgia Project organization helps get voters to the polls

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Richmond County has one of the lowest percentages of voter turnout in Georgia.

But an organization is trying to help change that by giving voters rides to the polls.

We spoke to leaders in the group managing the rides and a voter who says this program is a big help.

The vans are through the New Georgia Project, and they are working to give free rides to voters heading to the polls.

“I’ve had problems with my car, and I wanted to get out and get voted, so I had to call for a rideshare today,” said Voter Violet Mackie.

Mackie says she votes in all the elections and encourages others to do the same.

“I ran into some of my friends. They don’t have rides, but they really are enthused about voting, and by them having this, it really helps a lot of people,” she said.

When it comes to voting, there are some barriers, like taking the time to go during a workday.

Earnest Lowery is a driver with the New Georgia Project. He said, “We want to make sure that lack of transportation is not an obstacle for people who want to vote.”

As the state breaks early voter turnout numbers, Lowery says they have seen many riders use the service to cast their votes in person.

“You’ve heard a lot about the low turnout for midterm elections, we’ve certainly had quite a surge of riders during the past week or so that we’ve been doing this,” said Lowery.

A political expert we spoke to says these high turnouts show people are starting to realize the importance of this year’s elections.

Augusta University Political Science Professor Gregg Murray said: “People do understand the importance of who is controlling Congress in a coming couple of years, and it’s going to make a big difference policy-wise on a lot of fronts,” said Murray.

Mackie is thankful for these rides as she recognizes that importance too.

“It’s very important to me and very important to my family. I make sure that everybody in my family gets out and votes,” she said.