Voters may find themselves stuck in awfully long lines to cast their midterm ballots today, if early voting is any indication: In several states including Texas, Nevada, and Arizona, early voter turnout has already smashed previous midterm records. Long waits can serve as a deterrent for even the most eager voters, but one organization is doing its damnedest to feed hungry citizens who are stuck waiting in line: Pizza to the Polls.
What is Pizza to the Polls?
Pizza to the Polls is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that does exactly what its name indicates: It has pizzas delivered to polling places where long lines have formed. People can report long lines at polling places via its website by submitting links to tweets or Instagrams documenting the line; the democracy-loving pizza angels will then order pizza delivery from local pizzerias for the folks waiting in line (as well as poll workers and volunteers) to ensure everyone sticks around to fulfill their civic duty. The group solicits donations via its website and says every penny goes straight to feeding voters. Since launching in 2016, Pizza to the Polls has raised just over $110,000.
When and how did it start?
Pizza to the Polls launched in the days leading up to Election Day 2016. As long early voting lines formed at polling places as citizens showed up to cast their presidential ballots — one famously long line in Cincinnati stretched for half a mile — a software engineer named Scott Duncombe had an idea spurred from years of supporting get out the vote efforts: “I’ve handed out pizza at polling places before to voters and poll workers and it’s just a warm and fuzzy feeling,” Duncombe told Eater in 2016.
What did Pizza to the Polls do in its first election?
For its inaugural efforts for the 2016 presidential election, Pizza to the Polls raised a total of $43,307 from 1,728 donors, and fed 2,368 pizzas — approximately 25,000 slices — to voters and poll workers at 128 polling places across 24 states. Faced with more donations than it had time to spend, the group recruited volunteers from across the U.S., England, and Australia to help order all those pizzas.
What has the group done since?
The group doesn’t just support voting efforts: In January 2017, Pizza to the Polls also had pizzas delivered to airports where protesters gathered in opposition to Trump’s travel ban.
What is Pizza to the Polls doing for the midterms?
According to Duncombe, the 2018 midterms have already been nuts for Pizza to the Polls: So far just for early voting, the group has sent 1,274 pizzas to 93 polling places in 17 states, with most of them going to Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The organization has already raised more than $58,000 this year, and it’s still got a hefty $34,000 remaining in its coffers to feed voters today.
Spot a long voting line today that could use some pizza? Hit up the Pizza to the Polls website to report the location and snag some grub for hungry constituents; the organization also chronicles all its pizza deliveries on Twitter (@PizzaToThePolls).
• Pizza to the Polls [Official Site]