Uber and Lyft Just Made Voting in the Midterms Much Easier With Free Rides to the Polls

If you don't qualify for a free ride, discounts are available.
  • Uber and Lyft are offering free rides through nonprofit partners to members of underserved communities.
  • Both services are also offering discounts to anyone getting a ride to the polls to vote in the midterm elections.
  • Uber will have a “Get to the Polls” button that will help riders identify their polling station and hail a ride there.

If getting to the polls was a major issue in your ability to vote, there’s good news: Uber and Lyft are both offering a chance to get a free or discounted ride to your polling place tomorrow. The free rides are for underserved communities where transportation to a polling place is among major barriers to casting a ballot. The complimentary rides are offered through nonprofit partnerships each company has, but discount codes that anyone can use to hail a ride are also available.

Read about Elon Musk’s ride-hailing option to rival Uber and Lyft.

Getting Out the Vote, Ride-Sharing Style

The free rides with Lyft are being offered through groups that include Voto Latino, the National Federation of the Blind, Faith in Action, League of Women Voters, the Student Vets of America and various local Urban League affiliates. Uber, meanwhile, is partnering with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to offer free rides to some voters.

Even if you aren’t in a historically disenfranchised group, you can still get to your polling place at a discount. Uber will have a “Get to the Polls” button on its app on Nov. 6, which will make it easy to locate your polling place and then immediately hail a ride there. You can also snag $10 off a single ride to the polls on the cheapest option available in your city if you enter the promotional code VOTE2018.

Lyft, meanwhile, is passing out promo codes that will allow anyone to get 50 percent off of a ride on election day by entering the appropriate promo code. The Lyft site links to a Buzzfeed page where you can simply enter your ZIP code and get the appropriate code.

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Driving Better Voter Turnout

Turnout to vote is historically low during non-presidential election years, making the push to increase turnout a priority for a wide variety of organizations and communities. Per the United States Elections Project, about 92 million eligible voters failed to cast a ballot in 2016, whereas nearly 144 million sat out the 2014 midterms — marking a turnout of just 36.7 percent.

Making it easier to cast a ballot could be one way to help groups with historically low turnout start making it to the polls, even in midterm cycles. A Pew Research poll found that of U.S. adults ages 18 to 29, 86 percent viewed voting as “important” whereas just 50 percent called it “convenient.”

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