Free Rides to the Polls in Lackawanna County

SCRANTON, Pa. -- If you don't have a ride to your polling location on Election Day and you live in Lackawanna County, that doesn't have to prevent you from getting there.

A nonprofit in northeastern Pennsylvania that meets the needs of low-income families in our area is offering free rides to everyone, not just its clients.

United Neighborhood Centers offered these free rides to people in Lackawanna County for the first time for the 2016 election. About 90 people took advantage of it, and on Tuesday, UNC will try it again and hopes for even more people to call for a ride.

As long as you're old enough to vote, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania wants to make sure you have a way to get to the polls.

"We want to lift any possible barriers to our clients getting their voices heard because so many people we help could be disenfranchised, so we want to lift all those possible barriers," said Clare Haggerty, United Neighborhood Centers.

"I think it's a good idea because I have two friends who could use rides," said Lucille Banick.

"Some people probably would like to vote but probably have no way of getting there," Marie Barbuti said.

Right now, there are five volunteers signed up to drive, all using their personal cars.

"I just think transportation is such a big issue in Lackawanna County. Any help we can give to people that are not able to get to the polls, we'd really like to do that," said volunteer driver Jennifer Wynn.

"All of the drivers are volunteers, most of them work for our agency. We actually have someone's dad is participating, someone who works at our agency, he offered to drive people too, which is great," Haggerty said.

Jennifer Wynn works for the United Neighborhood Centers in Throop. She is volunteering to drive on Tuesday, and her husband is, too.

"Just because he feels as importantly as I do that voting is such a privilege that we should help people however we can to get to the polls," said Wynn.

Free rides are being offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Interested persons can contact 570-606-1268 to schedule their ride. If leaving a voicemail, the agency requires their name, a phone number to contact them, and when they need a ride.

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