How Lyft Is Helping People Get To The Polls And Encouraging More Midterm Election Voters

In some cases, the ride will be free.

If affordable transportation is keeping you from voting in this year's midterm elections, Lyft wants to help. The ride-share company announced Thursday that it will be offering discounted rides to polling places on Election Day, November 6.

In a blog post announcing the plans, Lyft cites a study from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), which found that more than 15 million registered voters didn't participate in the 2016 election because of transportation issues. 

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The company also cites a Pew study from 2014, which found that 46 percent of nonvoters have a family income under $30,000, and 43 percent of people who are unlikely to vote are minorities. 

With these facts in mind, Lyft is working with nonprofit voting organizations such as Vote.org, Nonprofit Vote, and TurboVote to distribute 50-percent-off codes. Meanwhile, voters in underserved communities will be given free rides with the help of organizations such as Voto Latino, the Urban League, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Discounted rides will only be available one-way, with HuffPost confirming with Lyft that this is "to avoid infringing on voter fraud protections." The company made clear in its post that the discounts are not meant to encourage riders to vote for or against a particular candidate.

"We want to be able to get to as many people as possible," Mike Masserman, head of social impact for Lyft, told Mashable of the initiative. He added the company's desire that drivers be registered to vote as well. 

Lyft also announced "product integration" to help passengers find their polling places, as well as sending reminders about voter registration deadlines. Drivers will even be given voter registration handouts and other information at Hub locations, and Lyft employees will be able to register to vote in-office.

Another partner in Lyft's efforts is When We All Vote, a campaign co-chaired by former First Lady Michelle Obama. She was one of many to praise the company for its efforts on Twitter Thursday. "We can each do our part to help all eligible voters make their voices heard in this upcoming election and every election," she wrote.

Cover image: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.com

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