Elections Chief Candidate: Offer Free Buses To Polls


How far can a penny take you? According to figures released in 2018, it can take you pretty far – $16 billion over 30 years, to be exact. But can it get you to your polling place on Election Day?

In November 2018, Broward County voters approved a one penny increase in the county’s sale tax. This increase is meant to fund improved public transportation options in the county. As county staff prepare to submit a 5-Year Transportation Plan using funds generated from the tax increase, here is a small suggestion: Broward should join Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, and Tampa, among others, and offer free public transportation on Election Day. 

Chad Klitzman

Lack of access to transportation to the polls is a major concern for voters, especially low-income voters. While few studies are available on this issue, a 2016 report commissioned by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement found that 29% of voters aged 18-29 cited transportation as a reason why they did not vote in the previous election. The number hovered around 35% for non-college educated young people and increased to 38% among young people of color. Seniors face similar issues, with one study of 3.5 million people over the age of 65 finding that more than half stayed at home on any given day because they did not have access to transportation. 

At a time when there are important discussions taking place about voter suppression, and with Broward’s voter turnout lagging behind much of the state, we must do everything we can to expand access to the ballot. Even if free transit on Election Day had a negligible impact on voter turnout, it would send a message to the public that the county values participation in the process more than it values a bus fare.

Ride sharing companies are already doing their parts to spread this message, partnering with community nonprofits and offering ride credits to get voters to the polls. 

People have enough to worry about when it comes to figuring out what they will do inside the voting booth. They should not also be concerned with how they will get there. Broward voters have many options when casting a ballot – including voting by mail and appearing in person at one of the county’s 22 early voting sites – but the single day upon which the greatest number of ballots is cast is Election Day so, for the purpose of free transit, it seems like a great place to start. 

There are many areas where the county can (and should) pinch pennies. Access to the ballot is not one of them.

Chad Klitzman is a Democratic candidate for Broward Supervisor of Elections. The other candidates — all Democrats — are Ruth Carter-Lynch, Mitchell “Mitch” Ceasar, Timothy T. Lonergan and Bamon Joevahn Scott.

The Democratic primary is August 18.

8 Responses to “Elections Chief Candidate: Offer Free Buses To Polls”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Oh please come on free ride to your polling station etc.I say run the trolley’.Let this penny tax pay for it.Yes I would run the trolly 24/ 7.

  2. Just one vote says:

    Why not make it every day there is early voting? Or make those days Reduced fares? That Tuesday when the polls are crowded, lines long and glitches with the voter or the polling place could keep many from voting once they get there.

  3. Cheap gimmick says:

    30 years ago, prior to early voting and improvements in absentee voting, this would have been a great idea. If a person is eligible to vote and lives at a residence then why would the County expend more than the cost of mailing back a ballot. The cost of the stamp as opposed to the cost of free bus service is not even close.

  4. zigy says:

    come on, there is early voting, voting by mail etc, if people want to vote they can, are they our children where we must do everything at all times, now we can have free education, medical, transportation, food, all is free except for the poor SOB who has to , in actuality, pay the bill for all this. the future is so great…..

  5. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Great article by Chad Klitzman, and a prime example of the innovative thinking Chad will deliver as the Supervisor of Elections.

    #2 J1V – Also a good idea, but with a higher price tag.

    There is a debate within the transit community as to whether or not public transit should just be free 24/7/365. Many very good arguments favor doing that. These arguments will get even stronger as we move toward upcoming transit systems (think self-driving electric buses).

  6. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    If you research CIRCLE at Jonathan M Tisch College at Tufts you find CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS and a large group of middling educated young women NONE WITH SCHOLARLY OR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE in voting. The author of this piece is quoting non experts.

  7. zigy says:

    getting more , like new York every day, why do these expatriot new yorkers who move here want to replicate the great empire state in florida, let them return to the paradise they left. everything for free in exchange for a few more votes, let the idiots who work pay for it all. sic trasit Gloria……

  8. Sam O'Sham says:

    While the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) is concerned with young people of college age, the Center of Ignoramuses and Retards for Clown Logic Education – Justifying Erasure of Real Knowledge (CIRCLE-JERK) has determined that young people don’t vote because they are too busy playing video games and putting up their man-buns.

    The rest of us are disenchated with the political process because it is a never ending rehash of old politicians with even older ideas.

    Some of the largest voting blocks in Broward, I’m talking dead people and Schizophrenics who vote more than once, have no trouble at all getting their votes counted. I don’t see why public transportation, already drowning in a sea of incompetence and red ink, should be dragged into the equasion of voter turnout.

    Quite simply, people don’t vote because it is not important enough to them to do so.