Dodge City offering free public transportation to only polling location

Local

One polling location in Dodge City has grabbed people’s attention all over the nation.

Some people saying it’s suppressing people’s right to vote now that it’s moved outside the city limits to the Western State Bank Expo Center.

“It’s harder for people who don’t have transportation to get to the polling ,and it’s out in the country,” voter Jeremiah DeCouteau said.

But do residents know the city is offering to help voters get there?

“No, I wasn’t aware of that,” Allysa Reyes said.

“I haven’t heard of that, any transportation.” Emilio Zacaries said. “I just usually use my car, that’s about it.”

The city has chosen to offer free transportation to any person that wants to vote.

Voters can call 620-371-3879 to make a ride reservation.

Mayor Kent Smoll said the city is not in charge of the polling location and the decisions behind it, but they’re here to help with transportation. 

“The county clerk is the election officer,” he said. “She chooses where the elections are held.”

Since October 4, the city announced this by posting flyers on local buses, newsletters, press releases and other media outlets.

“It’s on the city’s webpage, it’s on Facebook.” Smoll said. “So I think they’ve done a pretty good job getting it out there.”

But as of October 24, there’s been only one reservation made with the city for the free transportation, and they have just three volunteers lined up to drive.

City officials said they hope to get flyers up this week in local coffee shops, schools and businesses, so voters can utilize this option when going to the polls.

“They call into our office and book the ride,” transportation supervisor Brenda Martinez said. “No questions, free fare. We go to their location, their residence, pick them up, bring them and drop them off.”

“That’s pretty awesome, especially with the controversy about this polling being able to move to the expo center,” Lily Holguin said. “So, there’s no excuse. So go out there and vote.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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