"Project Vote" Continues to Educate Syracuse Voters, Help Them Get to the Polls in Final Days

Oct 29, 2020

Three South Side residents: Mike Atkins, left, Charles Pierce-El, center, and Walter Brown, right, are working with Project Vote to encourage their community to register and vote early.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Those who’ve passed by the corner of South Salina and Colvin Streets have probably noticed a few tables and signs set up outside of the storefront across from the post office. Project Vote has spent the past few months educating, registering, and transporting people to vote. 

Charles Pierce-El is the chairperson of the South Side Homeowner’s association voter education committee.

“People have been stopping by. They get coffee, they ask questions, they want to know about early voting: where you can vote early and how you can get there.”

Long before voting began, Project Vote is already seeing the fruits of their labor.

“Because of the impact of not voting -poverty among other things- we are in conjunction with the League of Women Voters. In the districts of the South Side, we brought the voting population from 27 percent up to 44 percent; of course, registration as well -you can’t participate unless you register.”

Chairperson of the South Side Homeowner's Association Charles Pierce-El uses his van to transport voters to the polls.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Since early voting began, Pierce-El has driven people to the polls in his van. 

Walter Brown is also a volunteer. He voted for the first time ever after being incarcerated for 16 years. Now, he’s dedicating his time to improving the community by getting out the vote.

“You’ve got to have a voice. You have to talk to these people, and you’ve got to sit them down; because you can talk to someone like you can lead a horse to a well, but you can’t make the horse drink water. So, all I can do is keep talking and going around and getting these young people that are in my neighborhood -and everywhere, not just my neighborhood- to vote because we need everybody."

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Early voting continues at six locations across the county through Sunday.  The last chance to cast a ballot in person is Tuesday, November 3rd at your regular polling place.