Anheuser-Busch is helping to brew democracy this fall.
The famous American beermaker is producing and donating more than 8 million ounces of hand sanitizer to polling places across the country.
A partnership between Anheuser and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is helping to bring some of that free sanitizer to precincts in Alabama.
Secretary of State John Merril, Alabama’s chief elections official, says his office has distributed 1,579 gallons of hand sanitizer among 44 counties that requested the substance. Merill is heavily involved in NASS, including currently serving as the organization’s vice chair for the southern region.
“It is critical that counties are supplied with adequate sanitation supplies, personal protective equipment, and other items necessary to protect voters, poll workers, and others involved in the electoral process,” he said in a release on Friday morning.
Facilities that create alcoholic beverages have the ability to switch to making alcohol-based hand sanitizer quickly. It is a substance easily made with the equipment and materials on hand at such beverage producers.
Breweries and distilleries in Alabama and across the nation switched to making sanitizer for a time when the coronavirus began spreading in the United States this past spring.
Cesar Vargas, Anheuser-Busch chief external affairs officer, remarked in a statement, “Anheuser-Busch is committed to uniting our communities, strengthening our democracy and encouraging even greater participation in the political process.”
“One part of this commitment is shifting our production capabilities to donate hand sanitizer so that election officials and voters throughout the country can take part in a safe election this fall,” he added.
Anheuser has donated over 500,000 bottles of hand sanitizer since COVID-19 reached the United States.
Additional groups helping to distribute the sanitizer are the National Association of State Election Directors and the online payments company PayPal.
Grace Newcombe, press secretary for the secretary of state’s office, told Yellowhammer that “because such a high volume of hand sanitizer was requested, PayPal provided an additional 630 bottles of hand sanitizer on top of those provided by Anheuser-Busch.”
Merrill credited the multi-group partnership with helping to make it so that “voters can confidently head to the polls on Election Day to cast their ballot in a safe and sanitary environment.”
The general election will occur on November 3; Alabama’s precincts will be open for voters from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: email@example.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95