DES MOINES, Iowa — The midterm elections are still more than a year away, but an event this weekend hoped to prepare eligible voters for the occasion long before their ballots are due.
Des Moines community organizer Al Womble hosted a voter registration fair at Evelyn K. Davis Park Sunday afternoon. The event took place two days before National Voter Registration Day.
Womble said the purpose of the fair was not just to register eligible voters, but to inform them of organizations and issues potentially impacted by their votes.
“We need to start being aware of those factors when we’re going out and telling them to vote,” Womble said. “We have to ask people why should they vote, what matters to them, and what issues are driving them.”
Womble said the selection of Evelyn K. Davis Park, a landmark in Des Moines’ historically Black King-Irving neighborhood, was intentional.
“There are a lot of communities out there that are not seeing the voter outreach that needs to take place,” Womble said.
Loretta Windsor lives in the neighborhood. Even though she is registered to vote, she attended the fair after noticing the tents while at the park.
“I love the fact that there are a lot of resources that I wasn’t even aware of that are out here for the community,” Windsor said. “The potential is limitless.”
Womble hopes to make this fair a recurring event leading up to the midterm elections.
“We heed to come to places and communities like this so we can not just talk, but listen,” Womble said.
Windsor hopes the events continue so that more potential voters can realize how much power they wield if they fill out their ballots.
“This is something that Black people, and even women, did not have the access or opportunity to do for so long,” Windsor said.