Voting turns into a party with car parade event

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Steve Marcus

County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly talks with voter Patricia Green during a “ballot parade” at the County Election Department in North Las Vegas Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The drive-thru, ballot drop-off voting event was co-hosted by Weekly and KCEP Power 88.1.

Sat, Oct 17, 2020 (5:39 p.m.)

The souvenir masks were gone in 30 minutes, but the celebration of democracy lasted for hours today at the Clark County Elections Department headquarters.

On the first day of early voting, the county and radio station KCEP 88.1-FM hosted a car parade for voters to drop off their completed ballots without having to get out of their vehicles.

KCEP brought the music and personalities, and voters brought their enthusiasm — and hundreds of ballots.

“It’s like a block party out here. Everybody’s dancing in their car,” radio station General Manager Craig Knight said as a steady stream of vehicles snaked through the parking lot in North Las Vegas.

Knight said there were a handful of voters waiting when he arrived at 7:30 a.m. to begin setting up. The event didn’t start until 9 a.m.

The KCEP crew promised masks proclaiming “I Voted” to the first 88 cars, but they brought 300. Even all those were gone by 9:30 a.m., Knight said.

Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, who is also a KCEP host, had a bottle of hand sanitizer in one hand and a phone in the other as he called into the radio station, urging listeners to join the event, which ended at noon.

Voters passed envelopes through their windows for workers to check for signatures and slide into a secure box on the sidewalk. Voters captured cell phone photos and videos as proof.

Some voters got out of their cars and walked their ballots to the drop box.

“I voted!” one woman said with a cheer. “Stay safe,” she told poll workers as she returned to her car.

Another woman in a floral print dress danced to the box, dropped in her ballot, peered inside, then danced back to her car to applause.

The woman in the car behind her did the same, waggling her blue-gloved hands.

“It’s a voting experience,” Knight said.

The radio station and Weekly conceived the parade as a compromise between standing in line to vote and mailing in ballots.

As the last cars inched forward, Craig went on the air to say it doesn’t matter who people vote for, as long as they exercise their right.

From the small crowd still on site, a voice agreed: “That’s right.”

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