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Roanoke church offers free rides to polls for early voting

High Street Baptist says it’s happy to give anyone in the city a lift
High Street Baptist leaders say they want to make sure as many people as possible have the...
High Street Baptist leaders say they want to make sure as many people as possible have the chance to vote.(WDBJ7 photo)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 11:37 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - In Roanoke, one church is stepping up to help people get to the polls.

High Street Baptist in Northwest is offering free rides for anyone in the city until election day. People can call the church, give their address, and the church will send a van to take them to their polling place.

“The thought was, what can we do to be effective? And to help in these uncharted waters and uncharted times,” said Hayward Statum, the chairman of High Street’s trustee board.

High Street normally offers rides on election day. But with the coronavirus pandemic raging and city leaders putting an emphasis on early voting, church leaders say they felt the need to expand their service.

When people call, they’ll be asked for their name, phone number and address. They won’t be able to schedule a time.

“We would rather them not put a specific time,” said Statum. “Be flexible with us and we’ll get to you as quick as we can.”

People will also be asked if they’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus, and “once we get to the home, we will do a temperature check, per CDC guidelines,” said Statum. “If they have an elevated temperature, we’ll ask that they take a different mode of transportation.”

People can call High Street Baptist at (540) 563-1444 or (540) 563-0123. Rides will be available Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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