Curbside KC is bringing its curbside model to the ballot box.
The website, which Open Belly founder Danielle Lehman launched earlier this year to help highlight local restaurants and bars pivoting to carryout service amid COVID-19, has launched a new initiative aimed at helping local voters get their mail-in ballots notarized.
As Lehman notes, there are several distinctions between absentee voting and mail-in voting. While only some voters are eligible for absentee voting and only some absentee ballots need to be notarized, all voters are eligible for mail-in voting this year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All mail-in ballots must be notarized, however, which is where Curbside Notary comes in.
"It’s not super easy to find a notary, so I just started thinking about how I might be able to connect public places with volunteer notaries to do curbside notary events," Lehman says. "I have about 40 or 50 volunteer notaries now and we’ve got about 25 or 30 different coffee shops, breweries and restaurants around KC that are letting us use their parking lots or sidewalks."
From Sept. 28 through mid-October, Curbside Notary will be set up at different spots around the Kansas City area, including Bay Boy Sandwiches, Heirloom Bakery & Hearth, Monarch Coffee, Ruby Jean's Juicery and Spokes Cafe and Cyclery, to allow voters to get their ballots notarized. Appointments aren't required, but voters who are concerned about leaving their vehicles can make an appointment on the Curbside Notary website to have their ballots notarized carside.
"We’re just trying to find a safer, easier, more accessible way for people to get their ballots notarized if they want to vote by mail," Lehman says.
You can view a full list of participating locations and dates on the Curbside Notary website.