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Independence Express, the transportation branch of Western New York Independent Living Inc. will provide free van rides to people with disabilities living in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties who need a ride to vote on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3). Or, if one would prefer to cast a vote prior to Election Day, one can get a ride to a designated early voting site in their county during its limited hours of operation between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1.
In addition, Independence Express will also deliver ballots for anyone, with or without disabilities, to their respective Boards of Elections in the five-county service area.
Independence Express has wheelchair-accessible vehicles for those with mobility challenges, if needed. Organizers said, “While we can’t help anyone up or down stairs, we can take people to their voting place and then back home or to work, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.”
Those with a disability who would like the free service offered by Independence Express can email [email protected]. Put “Election Day” in the subject, and provide this the rider’s name, address and phone number; if the rider uses a wheelchair or is ambulatory; the name and address of the polling place (i.e., North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road, Buffalo, NY 14216); if anyone is going with the rider, such as a personal care attendant; and lastly, the rider's first choice of the time to go to the polls.
Alternately, one may call Christian at 716-836-0822, ext. 108, to set up a ride. If there is high demand at times, requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Give at least two days’ notice to ensure a ride.
The Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.