PHOENIX — The Arizona State Fairgrounds off 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, with its wide parking lot structure, used during this pandemic for COVID-19 testing is now serving as a drive-thru ballot drop off for the election.
"This location along with 13 other sports facilities will be open from October 31 thru Election Day for voters to turn in their ballots," said Erika Flores, a spokeswoman with the Maricopa County Elections Department.
This Saturday was the first day the drive-thru locations were up and running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With a walker supporting his steps, 92-year-old Justin Herman brought his green enveloped ballot and placed it into the ballot drop box early Saturday morning.
"My statement is that people, no matter how old they are, need to do this, and I'm in my 90s... our life may very well depend on this," said Herman.
With 10 more days before Election Day, the anxiety and anticipation could be seen and felt everywhere, especially as people delivered their ballots.
"Optimistic that healing will come for whatever outcome, that we as people will find a way to get along, in spite of our differences and the anxiety that everyone has been experiencing with COVID will go away, and that there will be happiness," said Betsy Robello.
Voters at the location mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the top main reasons why they are voting this year.
"Think about the pandemic... this election means saving potentially tens of thousands of lives," said Phoenix resident Matthew Kane.
"This pandemic is a lot worse than we thought it could be, and it may be around for a long time, and we need competent leadership people who will tell us what we need to do," added Herman.
65-year-old Prentis Arnold showed up in his minivan, wearing a mask, and admitting that this is the first time he has cast a vote in his entire life.
"I just felt I had to vote. Most things were being taken care of but the last couple of years things have gotten a little shaky," said Arnold.
Yahaira Lopez brought her younger brothers and sisters who aren't yet of voting age. The soon-to-be mother said it is important for her that her siblings see the importance in voting.
"To show them how to use your voice to make change," said Lopez.