Transportation should not be a prerequisite for voting. To that end, rideshare companies Lyft and Uber are offering discounts for voters to get to polling places on Election Day.
With the reductions in the number of polling places and COVID-19 concerns, voting sites could be harder to get to than ever for voters on Nov. 3. Harvard University research revealed that 36% of people without cars did not vote in the 2016 election. Pew Research surveys show that 33% of voters plan to cast ballots on Election Day.
Lyft will discount rides by 50%, up to $10, for a one-way ride with the code “2020VOTE.” Uber is offering 50% off each leg of a trip, with a maximum of $7 per leg.
Plus 1 Vote seeks to give away free Lyft rides in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi, states that it identifies as voter-suppressed areas. Nike, Starbucks and Sony have partnered with Lyft in the effort to discount rides. Lyft said it already has provided a Nov. 3 transportation plan for almost 30,000 people through its Voting Access Hub.
As usual, many civic, religious, community and governmental organizations are arranging for volunteer Election Day drivers too. As with many cities too — there will be free public transit in Los Angeles on Nov. 3, with ballot drop-off boxes placed at city rail and bus stations.
There is also an effort by the National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association to provide Election Day rides in funeral home limousines to as many as 300,000 people in select cities.