DES MOINES, Iowa — Sheryl Ely has voted in every election since she was 18, but the elderly voter can no longer get around like she used to. Without a car, she decided to use public transportation to keep her voting streak alive.
Ely used a Des Moines Area Rapid Transit (DART) paratransit bus on Election Day to shuttle directly from her appointment at Broadlawns Medical Center to her polling place on the east side of Des Moines.
“You have to take part in our democracy, one way or the other,” Ely said. “Taking part in voting is just one of the things I am guaranteed the right to do to make a decision since I am an American.”
Ely hopes her effort to overcome obstacles and cast her ballot inspires other Iowans to do the same in this election and beyond.
“I’ve fulfilled my obligation as an American, and that’s to vote in a free election,” Ely said. “The way I tell it, if you haven’t voted, I don’t want to hear one condescending thing about it. You did not make the effort to exercise your right to be in with everyone else that voted. You just decided it wasn’t worth it.”