It's important to get this information out now, says Fred Kirschner, whose Bordentown, N.J., Petro Stopping Center has posted absentee ballot information on its web site at www.petro-nj.com.
"I see 2,000, 2,500 drivers a day. How does this guy vote?" Kirschner says. "Normally what will happen, sometime around Oct 15 he'll say, 'Gee, I won't be home to vote, I need to get an absentee ballot.' They have to know where to get one, get it mailed to their house, hen he's got to get home to get it so that in fact he can vote. So there's some planning involved." Kirschner says by putting the state-by-state absentee information on his site, complete with live links to each state's election site, it gives truckers a chance to plan ahead.
The site includes web site addresses, phone numbers, the date absentee ballots are available and the deadlines for returning them for each state. The web site listings for some states take you directly to the appropriate page; on others, you may have to click through several pages to find what you need.
"We have as many drivers as the Teamsters has members, and look what they get," Kirschner says, referring to the union's political pull. "We're talking about 2 or 3 million voters here."