Volunteers give senior citizens rides to polls

Volunteers giving seniors a ride to the polls

SAN ANTONIO -- This is the final week of early voting, and crowds are still heading to the polls in big numbers.

While there is curbside service for the elderly and disabled, many seniors simply don't have a ride to go vote.

That's where volunteers from Precinct 1 are stepping in to help.

These volunteers are giving seniors a ride to the polls. They figure out where the need is, and stop at various senior centers in Precinct 1 to pick up voters and take them to cast their ballots.

"Who else is going to take them to vote? They depend on us," said Ramon Esparza, Jr., a volunteer who drives seniors to the polls.

 At 9:30 a.m. sharp, a group of seniors from the District 5 Senior Center off South Presa, filled three cars then took off to the polls.

"We've been picking up seniors since last week. Every day. 10, 12, 13 seniors," Esparza said.

 Monday morning, Esparza did the driving, along with volunteers Raymond Garcia and Jose Carrasquillo.

"We're going out and picking them up at the centers because a lot of them don't have rides to come to vote, especially early voting," Garcia said.

 Commissioner Sergio Rodriguez supplies the two vans volunteers use for transportation.

The demand for a ride to the polls is high; drivers take up to three round-trips a day.

"We decided to volunteer the time, [Commissioner Rodriguez] gave us a van and here we are. We want to get people to vote," Carrasquillo said.

 Teresa Carrasco said she tried to vote two times last week.

"We come from District 5 and I went twice at McCreless. It was so long! I have bad knees. I cannot stand," Carrasco said.

In Monday morning's carpool to Bexar County's Precinct 1 Offices, the group of seniors voted in 15 minutes.

One voter, 89-year-old Candelario Rendon took advantage of the service.

"It was just a few people in line, a few behind us. I think about four or five people in front of us. No problem! We're very pleased that it didn't take us long," Rendon said.

If you're a senior living in Precinct 1, call a senior center in the precinct to schedule a ride.

If you're unsure which precinct you live in, check out Bexar County's Precinct Finder at https://www.bexar.org/2231/Precinct-Finder or call 335-VOTE.

Volunteers said carpools will be happening the rest of the week and on Election Day.

(© 2016 KENS)


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