September 29, 2020
Everyone loves a free meal, right? That seems to be the thought behind Fuel the Polls.
Mission Taqueria in Center City is organizing a coalition of restaurants to help incentivize Philadelphians to become poll workers by providing them free meals at their polling places on Election Day.
Among the restaurants confirmed to be participating are Oyster House, Middle Child, Martha, Mike's BBQ, Essen Bakery, Kalaya, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Cheu Noodle Bar, Laser Wolf and Bunny Hop, a West Philly food kitchen. Mission also expects more restaurants to get on board.
Power the Polls, a national campaign actively recruiting poll workers across the country, will be covering all of the food costs.
Those interested in becoming poll workers can sign up on the Fuel the Polls website. Once assigned to a polling place, those who registered through Mission's campaign will receive free lunches from one of the participating restaurants.
"I'm so proud to live in a city where our votes really do have the chance to make a difference in our disadvantaged, perpetually handicapped elections," Mission co-owner Daniel McLaughlin said. "This should be easier, but it's not. If incentivizing people with a free lunch adds enough cool factor to this civic duty, then hey, we'll make 300,000 burritos if that's what it takes. I'm even prouder to be part of an industry with friends who not only care as much as they do, but who, when asked to help, will always show up."
Philadelphia currently needs thousands of poll workers to fully staff its polling places. Without enough help, there's the possibility that many of the 800-plus potential voting locations will not open, creating longer lines at the ones that do open, which could possibly discourage voters.
This is an important election and every eligible voter should exercise their right to vote.