Fri November 2, 2012
'Souls To The Polls' Finds A Place In St. Louis
There’s a new effort in St. Louis to help people get to the polls next Tuesday.
"Souls To The Polls" is a faith-based transportation grassroots initiative providing rides to area polling places on Election Day for those who are without a reliable means to do so. The idea has gained popularity in Florida and Wisconsin as a way to rally large voter turnout among African Americans.
The local movement is being spearheaded locally by Reverend Traci Blackmon, minister of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant.
“This is an effort by churches who are concerned about the voice of the people being heard to educate – one, educate our congregations individually about the importance of the vote. Not just the vote for the president, but all of the vote,” Blackmon says.
Over 40 churches in St. Louis and Jefferson Counties are participating in the effort, which is non-partisan, says Dr. Robert Scott, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church and one of the organizers.
“We’re very intentional about that," Scott says. "We want persons to make their own decisions, regardless of what our own preferential preferences may be. We don’t want to get into that partisan kick. We just want to make sure that we provide the vehicle to make sure that people can exercise their rights.”
Over 40 churches are involved in next Tuesday’s Souls to the Polls effort. Drivers and phone bank volunteers are still needed to help transport voters.
Volunteer training will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist Episcopal Church or at 2:30 p.m. in Blackjack at The Antioch Baptist Church in St Louis. There will also be a prayer vigil on Monday at 7 p.m. at Central Baptist Church. For more information, visit stlsoulstothepolls.org.
Follow Erin Williams on Twitter: @STLPR_Erin
- See more stories on issues and elections from St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and Nine Network of Public Media at BeyondNovember.org.