YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Today is the first day of early voting in Ohio for the May primary election, and some churches in Youngstown are being pro-active to get people to the polls.
The event is called “Souls to Polls,” and has become a tradition for many African-American Communities across the country.
Today, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Community Mobilization Coalition is giving free transportation from churches on each side of Youngstown to the Mahoning County Board of Elections for those who want to vote early for the primary election.
The churches participating in the drive are the Prince Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church on the East side, Gethsemane Baptist Church on the West Side, Tabernacle Baptist Church on the North Side and New Bethel Baptist Church on the South Side.
There will also be a second day for people get to the polls on Sunday, May 3rd, which is two days before the election. Voting on the 3rd, will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The same churches will be involved as today, and fellow church goers will be able to go straight from Sunday mass, to cast their vote.
The Souls to Polls drive was very successful when it first began a few years ago, but last year, Ohio’s Secretary of State cut all Sunday voting, which was later restored by a federal judge, but was limited to only four hours a day.
The change created a drop in the number of people attending the early vote.