Lyft will combat low voter turnout in the U.S. by offering half-priced and free rides for voters to get to their polling places this Election Day on November 6.
The on-demand transportation company announced Thursday that they are partnering with nonprofit organizations such as Vote.org, Nonprofit VOTE, TurboVote , and others to help distribute promo codes to users who need a discount to exercise their right to vote.
This effort comes on the heals of a recently rejected proposal given to a Georgia election board to shutdown multiple polls in a majority black county, which would have worsened the 59.6% black voter turnout.
Big victory for voting rights: majority black Georgia county decides not to close 7 of 9 polling places after public outcry https://t.co/awgF2Jgiwq
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) August 24, 2018
In their announcement, Lyft noted there’s a significant transportation problem affecting elections. The company cited information from The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement which says that roughly 15 million people did not vote in the 2016 election because they didn’t have transportation to get to the polls. That estimate is significant considering the 2016 presidential election was decided by 80,000 votes in three states.
A 50 percent discount to polling stations is already an admirable move, but even more commendable is the company partnering with the Urban League and other nonprofit organizations to provide free transportation for under-privileged communities where half-priced rides are not enough. According to the Pew Research Center, 46 percent of nonvoters have incomes under $30,000.
The move by Lyft addresses the lack of participation in midterm elections, which many political experts will argue are even more significant than presidential elections. This year’s midterms is especially unique due to the amount of women on the ballot.
Yes, that’s the sound of glass shattering ahead of the midterm elections. And female candidates are stomping through the wreckage. https://t.co/t381YnKEi4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 17, 2018
Along with getting citizens to the polls, Lyft is also providing ways for people to register to vote and learn about voting initiatives up for referendum approval. The company intends to remind passengers about voter registration deadlines; give drivers voter registration handouts and voter information at “Hub locations“; offer in-office voter registration for employees; and provide online voter information through the company’s partner organizations.
36 governor seats, 33 Senate seats, and all 435 House of Representative seats are up for grabs in November. The election will have a considerable impact on the future of President Donald Trump, amidst continuous calls for his impeachment.