Free Rides to the Polls

New Yorkers, you have no excuse:

Harpreet Singh Toor, a neighborhood activist who is running to become the first Sikh in the city council, has come up with an innovative way to get his voters to the polls next Tuesday.

Toor has arranged for Sikh cab drivers to use their cars to ferry voters to and from the polls on election day.

“It is important that the voters in Southeast Queens make their voices heard,” Toor said. “Of course I hope that they vote for me, but what is most important is that they vote. For too long the needs of this district have been ignored by those in office. The only way we will change things for the better is to come out and vote in large numbers.”

Toor noted that Sikh cab drivers also offered free rides in the wake of 9/11, and said the gesture then and next week is related to the Sikh concept of Seva, which he defined as doing service without any expectation of return. [Link]

I think we should do this in every district in the country but make it a more collaborative all-around effort! I am imagining that a local sweets store would provide gulab jamuns and samosas in the cab and a local dhol player could get people psyched up by playing their instrument just outside the sphere of the polling place. Then some kulfi on the way out. This is my vision.

15 thoughts on “Free Rides to the Polls

  1. I came across similar programs when I was doing research work at the Matunga neighborhood in Mumbai. Restaurants offer discounted snacks and drinks during election days if customers display their inked fingers (you get a mark when you vote in India). The proprietors claimed that they made these offers for young voters to encourage them to vote.

  2. We should just make it a paid federal holiday, and after you vote you get to have a holi dancefight in the streets. What’s with this drop on ink on the finger business? The people demand full coverage color.

  3. excellent, especially consideringf that voter suppresion is a big problem.

    In the spirit of bipartisanship I would like to encourage all liberals here to go out and vote on election day: Wednesday, November 3rd.

  4. PIO:

    The Sikh cab drivers were taking voters (any type of voter) to the polls. Read closely. :)

  5. I know that Sepia doesn’t have a paid staff, but I wish you had at least offered an open thread with updates of brown results. Might be something to consider for the future as more desis run.

    Looks like Nikki Haley is the next governor of SC with 77% of precincts reporting.

  6. Toor lost. So did Albert Baldeo, an Indo-Guyanese lawyer running for the same seat.

  7. don’t think any indian american dem standing for congress was expected to win pre-election. haven’t heard otherwise from the results.

  8. I guess the public said no to the Indian Obama.

    I am glad that someone who is concerned with the interests of America won.

  9. I guess the Indian Obama lost.

    I am glad that someone who is concerned about the interests of the United States won.