By Josh Drake
Voters with transportation problems will have a way to get to their polling locations on Election Day. Ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber will offer discounted and free rides Nov. 6 to help increase voter turnout during the midterm elections.
Lyft will provide 50 percent off codes for riders to encourage voter turnout. Organizations such as Vote.org, Nonprofit VOTE and TurboVote, among others, will help distribute the codes.
Eduardo Lopez, a student, said what Lyft is doing is fair. Just because people live in low-income areas and cannot drive themselves does not mean their voices should not be heard, he said.
According to Lyft’s website, residents in underserved communities facing significant transportation obstacles will be provided services free of cost through Lyft’s nonpartisan, nonprofit partners including Voto Latino and the National Federation of the Blind, among others.
Maureen Dale, a student, said Lyft’s offer will encourage and make it easier for voters to get to polling locations. “Transportation should not be a barrier to voting, so this initiative is the greatest they could have come up with.”
According to Uber’s website, the company will offer free rides and voting location information through its app. “Using our technology and resources, we can help make it easier for every Uber rider in the U.S. to get to their polling place at the push of a button,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, said in a blog post on the company’s website.
Uber will partner with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to provide free rides to polling locations.
Khosrowshahi said the Uber app will also have a button to help riders find their polling places and book their rides.
Both ride-hailing companies also led voter registration initiatives.
According to CNET, up until Sept. 25, Lyft gave drivers handouts with voter registration information at Lyft Hub locations, the company’s point of communications for drivers.
Through Election Day, Lyft will partner with organizations such as TurboVote, When We All Vote and Vote.org to provide people with information on how to vote early or by mail. The company will also share information on how to schedule a ride through the service on Election Day.
Uber who also partnered with When We All Vote provided voter registration information to its customers through its app.
According to their respective websites, Uber and Lyft ride codes offered for Election Day are not intended to induce the act of voting. Their also not refraining from voting or voting for or against any particular candidate, party or measure.
According to a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic, 28 percent of young adults said they are certain they will vote in midterms, compared to 74 percent of senior-aged voters.