Some long voting lines will come with snacks this year.
That's thanks to nonprofit Pizza to the Polls and Uber Eats, which are rolling out food trucks to 25 cities, including Minneapolis, to give people free, prepackaged snacks and beverages while they wait in line to vote.
The food truck will be in Minneapolis from Oct. 29-Nov. 3, covering a period that includes early voting and actual Election Day, according to the company's website.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pizza to the Polls says it has seen in-person voting locations struggle and lines get longer due to poll worker shortages reducing the number of polling places and public health and safety precautions limiting how many people can be in the polling place at once.
"By launching food trucks in cities with a history of long lines, we plan to safely provide free, individually wrapped snacks and beverages to everyone," the company's website says, noting employees will wear masks and gloves, have hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant and other cleaning supplies to help keep people safe.
People won't be able to track the food trucks, according to Travel and Leisure, but they can report long lines at polling locations on the Pizza to the Polls website. Meanwhile, ride-hailing app Uber is offering 50% off roundtrip rides to polling locations on Election Day (up to $7 each way), the publication states.
Voting in Minnesota
Early voting began in Minnesota on Sept. 18 and continues through Nov. 2 for in-person early voting, with Election Day on Nov. 3. And although the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office recommends absentee voting (see more on this below), voting in-person isn't a huge health risk, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
"In general, we would compare the risk of voting in person comparable to going to the grocery store," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a call with reporters on Monday.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips for poll workers and voters to stay safe on Election Day, which includes reminding voters to wash their hands, vote at off-peak times to avoid large crowds, stay six feet away from others, wear a mask and cover your coughs and sneezes.
For those who aren't comfortable with voting in-person or like the convenience of voting from home, Minnesota offers no-excuse absentee voting, which allows people to request a ballot, fill it out and mail it in or drop it off at their local election office (in most places).
This has been the popular choice for Minnesotans this year, with Secretary of State Steve Simon saying as of Oct. 2, 1,195,672 people had requested an absentee ballot and 327,338 absentee ballots have already been returned and accepted.