Volunteer group looking for volunteers to offer free child care for voters


There are many reasons why people don't show up to the polls to vote. For some it's about desire, but others can't find the time or means to get to the booth.

For the November midterm election, a Kalamazoo volunteer group is working to eliminate one of the boundaries that may keep voters away: childcare.

Sally Read lives in Precinct 7. She organized volunteers to offer free child care at her polling place, the Douglass Community Association. Voters in Precinct 7 and 9 vote there. Read said the child care is meant to service voters coming to her polling place, but they are willing to help voters in other precincts as well.

They are still looking for more volunteers to help fill time slots, so if you'd like to help you can fill out an application here.

"One potential barrier to participation is childcare," Read said. "People who have kids at home might feel like it's just a lot of work to have to watch their kids if they're in line. Hopefully there are lines and a lot of people show up."

Read and other volunteers will offer free childcare at the Alma Powell branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library, which is next door to the Douglass Community Association. The service will run from 1 to 8 p.m. during normal library hours.

Read is the former head of the Kazoo School in Kalamazoo, and she has her Ph. D. in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education. She's asked for volunteers to help provide the service to voters, but they are not affiliated with any child care agency.

The library has offered their space to host the child care. Kids will be able to use their books, Legos and other toys while their parents are voting.

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