Voters on wheels cast their ballots

8:11 p.m.

Justin Schuenemeyer drove about three blocks up to the Memorial Baptist Church polls this Tuesday. His motorized wheelchair tops out at a speed of roughly six or seven miles per hour, but he is used to going around town in it all day.

Schuenemeyer is quadriplegic, a recent international studies graduate and unemployed. He has been having difficulties finding an entry-level job that pays enough to afford private health insurance along with cost of living.

“Soon, health insurance companies won’t be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions,” Schuenemeyer said. “The Senate race is my main reason for coming down here. I’d like to see universal health care be a good thing, a feasible thing, and something that’s not going to bankrupt us in the long run.”

Other special needs voters made their way to the polls via friends, family members or special driving services.

The center also allowed for curbside registry and ballots for when a voter had trouble exiting the vehicle. For these instances, a representative from both political parties is required to escort the ballot outside to the voter. At Memorial Baptist, these reps were Republican judge Jake Thompson and Democratic supervisor Paula Barnes.

“This particular person is blind,” Barnes said, while waiting outside an SUV. “We had another earlier today who has to be in her 90s. She has voted every time since she has been able to.”

— Megan Cassidy

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