To ensure that all voters in Dodge City, Kansas, had the chance to cast their ballots, volunteers from as far away as Denver and New York City came in to give them rides to their contested polling place.
Dodge City has just one polling location, and about a month before the election, Ford County clerk Deborah Cox moved it from the Civic Center in the middle of town to the Expo Center outside city limits. More than half of Dodge City's population is Hispanic, and the ACLU filed a lawsuit, arguing that moving the polling place outside of the city might disenfranchise voters. A judge ruled last week that it was too late to do anything, because opening a second polling place might cause confusion and do more harm than good.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that volunteers assisted residents who didn't know where to vote, and gave others rides to the Expo Center. Three women rented a charter bus to drive voters to the polling place, and several voters said they took a shuttle the city provided. Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, the plaintiff in the ACLU case, said it was "exciting" to vote for the first time, and hopes that during the next election, there will be more places to vote — other towns the same size as Dodge City have five polling places, he noted, not one. Catherine Garcia