How to Get to the Polls for Free on Election Day
Tomorrow, on Nov. 6, millions of Americans will travel to the polls to cast ballots for local, state and federal elections. While many will drive themselves to their polling location or have already mailed in their absentee ballots — a host of citizens will have trouble exercising one of their most sacred rights. In fact, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement estimates that more than 15 million people didn't vote in the 2016 election due to lack of transportation.
Fortunately, there are a number of transportation services that are offering free or discounted rides on election day. Here's a round-up of how you can save cash when getting to the polls:
Uber will "be offering $10 off a single ride to the polls on Election Day on the most affordable Uber option available in your city (Express POOL, POOL, or UberX, in that order)." Uber provided these details on how to access the discount in the app on election day:
- Make sure you have the most recent version of the Uber app.
- Enter the promotional code VOTE2018 in your app. (Tap Menu > Payment > Add Promo Code)
- Request your ride using our polling place locator, right in the Uber app.
- Be sure to select the most affordable Uber option available in your city (Express POOL, POOL, or UberX, in that order).
Note that the code is not available at all in Michigan, Puerto Rico or other US territories.
Lyft has partnered with Buzzfeed to offer 50% off rides (up to $5 off) to voting sites on Nov. 6. Head to Buzzfeed's special website here and enter your zipcode. You'll then receive a special code you can enter in your Lyft app to get the discount, which is only valid on election day.
Lime Scooters will be offering free 30 minute rides on its scooters, bikes and e-bikes. Open up your LIME app and enter the code: LIME2VOTE18 — you'll then have access to one complimentary 30 minute ride in one of the 100+ cities where Lime is active.
Bike Shares in Major Cities
Motivate, which was recently purchased by Lyft, operates bikeshare programs around the country. You can enter the code: BIKETOVOTE in the relevant app to receive a free day pass on election day. Eligible programs include:
- Citi Bike in New York and Jersey City
- Bluebikes in Boston
- Capital Bikeshare in Washington D.C.
- Nice Ride Minnesota in Minneapolis
- Ford GoBike in the San Francisco Bay Area
- CoGo in Columbus, OH
Additionally Divvy in Chicago "will offer users free $15 Explorer Passes with the code VOTE18, granting them an unlimited number of three-hour trips in a 24-hour window," according to VentureBeat. Portland residents can use the code BIKE2VOTE for a free 30 minute ride on Motivate's Biketown program.
While it's probably not as convenient, you can rent an entire car through either ZipCar or Getaround and receive a ride credit. If you take a trip in a Zipcar from 6pm to 10pm on election night, you'll get $20 in credit toward a future booking, according to a blog post on the company's website.
VentureBeat reports that Getaround users can enter the code GETAROUND2VOTE for $10 off election day rentals in these cities: San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Washington DC, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, New York City, Miami and San Diego.