DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Mercedes Larkin and her husband Walter cast their ballots during the first week of early voting in Georgia, but Mrs. Larkin plans to head back to DeKalb County voting precincts on Tuesday--this time with their sons in masks and boxes full of bottled water and snacks.
"We're just packing prepackaged snacks in boxes and making it easy for us to keep our distance and let voters grab what they like," said Larkin, a mother of three.
The Conley mother told FOX 5's Portia Bruner she waited four hours to vote during a July runoff. As the hours passed, she felt torn about leaving the line to go home and start dinner. However, she stayed because casting her voice was that important and because someone offered snacks.
"Seeing people come out and provide snacks since it was pretty hot out that day made a difference. Most folks were hungry and trying to save space in line so they could go get something to eat and this election is too important. We want people to be able to be comfortable enough to stay in line," said the life-long Georgia resident.
Her sons, Andrew, 14 and Mathew, 12, said they look forward to their half-day of virtual learning Tuesday and are eager to help out at the polls.
"I think everybody should vote and I know people are going to be waiting in line a really long time and people are going to be hungry and I don't want people to get out of line," said Larkin, a freshman at Arabia Mountain High School.
Several organizations, fraternities, sororities, and other groups plan to do the same at polls across metro Atlanta. The Larkins are proud to be among many families working the lines to help their fellow Georgia voters—even in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic.
"We've always taken our children with us to the polls because we want them to grow up understanding what it means to have the right to vote. So many people died for us to have the right to vote and fought for us to have the right to vote. But also as citizens and Christians, it's important to do our due diligence being involved in this election," said Larkin. “We bought a lot of snacks, so we’re prepared to stay out there for hours to make sure the people get a chance to make sure their voice is heard.”