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Election Office Access Difficult Without Car

elections
Voter registration | Image by Dallas County Elections Department

For Dallas County residents without a car, reaching the elections office could prove challenging.

The elections office is not within any of Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s GoLink service zones. Not only that, the closest bus stop is almost one mile away, reported KERA News.

For some North Texas natives, this reality is unsurprising. Dallas-Fort Worth, in particular, has been named one of the worst cities for residents who do not own a vehicle, according to a study conducted by CityLab journalists Carlotta Mellander and Richard Florida.

Nationwide, the metroplex was ranked as the sixth worst large metro to reside car-free, according to their 2019 assessment. As part of the ranking, the two looked at a city’s share of households without vehicle access, the share of commuters who use transit to reach work, the share of commuters who bike to work, and the share of commuters who walk to their place of employment.

Kenneth Williams attempted to reach the elections office to file his paperwork certifying him as a volunteer deputy registrar in Dallas County for the elections this year. However, Williams was stopped short of reaching his destination since DART did not service the area. As a result, he opted to use a rideshare service instead.

Speaking to KERA News, Willaims said voters and volunteers need better access.

“In the county of Dallas, as large as it is, the only drop box where you can drop off a mail-in ballot is the Dallas County Elections Department. So if you want to vote, your right is somewhat constrained,” he said.

A spokesperson for the County elections department confirmed the office at 1520 Round Table Dr. is more difficult to reach than the previous Stemmons Freeway location.

Chief communications officer for DART, Jeamy Molina, told KERA that the agency is coordinating with the election department to offer shuttle service to both polling locations and the office itself. DART is also reportedly planning to move the bus route close to the office, but it may not happen until September, right before the October general election voter registration deadline.

“It won’t give folks a whole lot of time to, you know, use the changed service in support of this election year,” Williams said, per KERA. “Not if you’re talking about people registering and that sort of thing.”

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