Volunteers work to make voting experience more pleasant for Arkansans

Volunteers are bringing dozens of snack carts to polling locations, as well as food trucks, PPE, ponchos, and umbrellas.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Even though the state’s seeing long lines of voters eager to cast their ballot, a group of organizations are working to get even more people inspired to vote.

“We feel like this is something we’ve got to do every day,” said Scott Hamilton, CEO of Urban League of Arkansas.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the 2020 elections in Arkansas

Hamilton created the Pulaski County Election Defense Ad-Hoc Task Force.

It’s made up of 18 non-profits, coming together to help increase voter turn out to at least 50% of the state’s registered voters.

They’ve all shared national grant dollars to make it happen.

“This is very important,” said Hamilton. “By doing that, we’ve been able to pull in more resources and better utilize those funds.”

So far, volunteers have delivered dozens of snack carts to polling sites across Pulaski County.

They’re also stocked with PPE, like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and umbrellas and ponchos for the rainy days. 

You can even find food trucks set up at different polling sites throughout the week.

Hamilton said they are also expanding their efforts by taking the carts beyond the metro to more rural areas.

Voters like Toney Macio said the group’s effort came as a sweet surprise.

“People were great. They were nice, they were courteous,” said Macio. “It means a lot to me to have the support, and especially have leaders in the community.”

“What we are hoping is that we can create an experience that people will go share with others,” said Hamilton. “We want them to say, ‘Hey, you know there was a long line, but there were some nice folks out there that gave us some snacks, gave us a beverage, they were funny, entertaining, and they cracked jokes with us.’”

The task force meets every day to brainstorm ways to better your voting experience.

Just recently, they added hot cider to the carts to help keep you warm on the chilly days.

RELATED: 100-year-old Arkansas woman proves there’s no excuse for not voting

“We plan to be out every day, including rainy days, through Election Day,” said Hamilton.

The food carts can be found at multiple polling sites in Pulaski County, Conway, Jacksonville, Pine Bluff, and Forest City. The carts travel from one site to another, daily.