There’ll be no family hours, funerals or repasts at Clora Funeral Home on Election Day. Instead, the Detroit morticians will use their fleet of luxury limousines to shuttle city residents to the polls.
Clora, a Detroit family business with three locations, is among a number of funeral homes, bus companies and bike-sharing services nationwide getting in on getting out the vote.
An estimated one-third of Motor City residents are carless, a fact more prevalent among the city’s low-income residents, according to University of Michigan researchers. That, combined with the city’s limited public transportation, a pandemic, delayed mail service and a recent court ruling banning paid rides to election sites, makes getting the vote out more critical this year.
Michigan is also a battleground state where every ballot counts. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by just 10,704 votes.
Major Clora, owner of the Clora Funeral Home, said his business first participated in the transportation initiative in the 2016 presidential election, hauling hundreds of Detroiters to and from polling sites. There will be fewer passengers in the back seats of their vehicles this year because of COVID-19, but the funeral home will have at least 15 limos, Mercedes sprinters and sedans in service on Nov. 3.