AUBURN — Voters will have a new option for getting to the polls on Election Day, with the city offering a free shuttle service among all three polling locations.

According to a city news release, Auburn will have two shuttle buses servicing the polling locations between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., with the only requirement that riders wear masks.

Liz Allen, director of communications and community outreach, said in the release that Auburn “believes that access to transportation should not be a barrier for anyone wanting to vote.”

“Many eligible voters don’t go to the polls, and sometimes it’s because they simply don’t have a way to get there,” she said. “The pandemic has added even more of a challenge to exercising the right to vote, whether voting by mail, using a secure drop box, or voting in person.”

The Election Day shuttle, available for the first time, will allow Auburn residents to schedule a free ride to and from their polling place.

“Our goal is to remove transportation as a barrier, and help people get to the polls and exercise their right to vote,” Auburn Assistant City Manager Brian Wood said. “We never want transportation to be the reason why someone didn’t vote.”

According to the news release, the shuttle buses will be clean and safe, with no proof of voter registration needed. But, it states, masks are required.

The team at Auburn Public Works will work with callers to determine their polling location and schedule their ride.

“Our drivers will pick voters up right at their residence, then return them safely home from their polling place,” Wood said.

In September, city officials consolidated Auburn’s normal polling locations to three. Many of the former locations were located at school buildings, which this year could not accommodate an election due to the pandemic.

Voters in Wards 1 and 2 will vote at the Auburn Senior Community Center at 48 Pettengill Park Road, Wards 3 and 4 at Auburn Hallat 60 Court St.; and Ward 5 will vote at the Boys & Girls Club on 2nd Street.

“It’s an honor for us to help provide our community with the tools they need to vote,” City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said. “We’re all in this together and we really hope residents will put this great service to use and come see us at the polls on Election Day.”

Those wishing to use the shuttle service are encouraged to call 333-6670 as soon as possible to schedule their ride.

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