In recent weeks, Dodge City, Kan., became a cause celebre among left-leaning activists after county officials controversially moved the city’s longtime polling station to a new location outside the city limits — more than a mile past the last bus stop.
Nationally, fears quickly spread that election officials were trying to suppress the city’s predominantly Latino population, many of whom work at meatpacking plants. Celebrities including Melissa Etheridge and Debra Messing sprang into action to help organize Lyft rides and buses for any voters who needed transportation. Organizers from across Kansas — and as far away as San Diego — rushed in to help volunteer on the front lines.
But on election day Tuesday, those transportation fears fizzled dramatically as volunteer buses and carpools stayed idle in Dodge City, and activists and residents agreed that the controversy had become overblown.