DETROIT – The city of Detroit is trying to make sure everyone casts a vote during the presidential election, creating 23 satellite voting centers and deploying 10,000 poll workers with a major pay raise.
The satellite voting centers opened Monday and will be available seven days a week. There are also more drop boxes than in years past, which is designed to make it easier and more convenient for residents to vote, especially if they haven’t done so before.
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“It’s right up the street from my house, so I’m here today,” resident Mamie Radney said.
Radney, 33, said this is her first time voting.
“I just thought it was important,” Radney said. “Every voice needs to be heard, so I’m here.”
She was one of the first people in line to cast her ballot at the grand opening of a satellite voting center in northwest Detroit.
“I think it’s good to have so many places in schools and stuff so people can vote," Radney said.
Detroit Clerk Janice M. Winfrey said this is one of the largest efforts to get people out to vote. With 30 drop boxes and 23 satellite voting centers, Detroiters have options.
“If you want to vote on a Tuesday or Sunday before dinner, we are making it easy so you can exercise your right to vote,” Winfrey said.
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Detroit has deployed 10,000 poll workers across the city. Thanks to a grant, they’ll be paid more than in years past -- from $175 per day to $500 per day.
Many of the satellite voting centers are in large rec centers not being utilized due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They have sanitizing and social distancing mandates in place.
Neighborhood radio patrol volunteers said they feel safe helping Detroiters get out and vote.
“We’ve been going through it long enough to know what measures to keep us safe and what to avoid,” neighborhood radio patrol volunteer Lezlie Robinson said.
“We wanted to make sure our residents had the opportunity to vote and make sure things run smoothly and that we were part of the process,” neighborhood radio patrol volunteer Veronica Armstead said.
The volunteers will also get people who don’t have a ride.