Honor the 60+ years tradition of SOULS TO THE POLLS! We can’t top Chris Sharpe’s 2023 call to vote – “Voting is a Tradition in my Church.”

Chris Sharpe

“As driver of my church van, I have the opportunity to have regular conversations with many of my fellow congregants who either do not have regular transportation or no longer drive. It is an honor to drive them to the polls so that they can exercise their voice and these conversations led me to speak recently to the Rowan County Board of Elections Members and advocate for adding Sundays and additional Saturdays during Early Voting.  

While driving the Church van throughout the year, we have conversations en route to the church about the lack of transportation and how it affects their daily living. If not for the church van, they actually question if they would regularly attend church. One must then wonder how transportation needs affect other important tasks in their lives.

Our members have strong concerns about the ability to cast their vote during each election as well as their eligibility to vote since the rules for voting have been changed since the last election. They let it be known without hesitation that their ancestors died trying to vote. Their sense of obligation is too great to not do all they can to vote. 

Stories handed down through their families is one reason SOULS TO THE POLLS is known to many of us. Voting was hard won and to vote with your church community is meaningful. The choice of when they can go to vote isn’t totally in their control without their own transportation and providing that transportation has been a traditional role of churches across the nation in years past.    

It really makes their day to have successfully voted, to have been a part of the process in voting for their desired representative and I am honored to play a small part in providing transportation. 

Rest assured that you can talk about the process of voting as part of our democratic process. Yes, contrary to what you may hear, we can have nonpartisan conversations that keep everyone up to date on any changes in the new voting procedures. We all need to ensure we can navigate the voting with the new changes this year. 

In conclusion, many elderly and working people who choose to vote in person and do not have transportation would benefit from more weekend voting times in order to coordinate with family and friends to get a ride to vote. 

Neighbor helping neighbor. It takes all of us. Let’s vote!” 

Chris Sharpe