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It is your democratic right to vote and it is an opportunity to have your say about how the nation is run. Yet here and throughout the world, nowhere has 100 percent of voters turning up to exercise their right. This time technology is hoping to address at least one of the reasons for this: the shocking number of people who cannot get to their voting station.
According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (Circle), the third most often cited reason for not voting was a lack of transport. It comes after not liking any of the candidates and not being able to take time off work to vote, but transport was a factor for 35 percent of respondents.
For the 2018 Midterms, car- and ride-sharing companies Uber, Lyft and Zipcar are all offering ways to help.
Voting times vary by state and are often different in various cities across the same state. Check you know your correct polling place by looking it up on the official government site. Then check with that polling station what its hours of operation are.
This is particularly important if you’re planning to use Zipcar.
Zipcar has perhaps the simplest of the systems in place. If you reserve a Zipcar ride to a polling station you will have to pay full price for it but you’ll get a $20 credit toward any future journey.
However, Zipcar has imposed strict time limits on the offer. You can only take advantage of it between 18:00 and 22:00 local time on Election Day which means it’s no help at all to daytime voters.
Download the latest version of the Zipcar app for iPhone.
Uber has been working with organizations across the US to help encourage people to register to vote. It’s also given away 15,000 free rides via promo codes that it released in condition with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works.
Now that Election Day is upon us, Uber is offering $10 off a single ride to the polls for anyone. To get it, make sure you first have the latest version of the Uber app on your device.
Then the app can tell you which is your polling place and when you book a ride to it, you can enter a promo code of VOTE2018. You do have to do one more thing: you’ve got to then pick the cheapest of the Uber options to get you there. Uber says that this means, where available, this means picking from Express Pool, POOL, or UberX, in that sequence.
Lyft has potentially the most complex of the options but also the best if your ride would usually cost $5 or less. In theory it’s offering 50 percent off rides to polling places for anyone and free rides to people in underserved communities.
Both of these are via partnerships with organizations such as Vote.org and in the case of the free rides, though non-partisan non-profits such as Vote Latino and the League of Women Voters.
Unfortunately, to see what Lyft options there are with any of these organizations, you need to search the website for their local divisions.
To get the 50 percent offer, make sure you have the latest version of the Lyft app and then enter your ZIP code into this Buzzfeed website.
Follow the results on your way home
Do note that, very significantly, these car service offers do not apply to your ride back home again. That may radically reduce their worth as people who find it hard to get to a polling place are unlikely to find it easier getting back. However, all three services do reduce the overall cost of your journey.
When you’re making your way back, though, you can also use technology to keep on top of everything that’s happening in the election.
Apple News Midterms Section
All regular news services will be reporting on election results but this year they’re being joined by a special edition of Apple News. ThisiOS and Mac app is to have an Election makeover.
At 8:00 p.m Eastern time, the Apple News Digest tab will be replaced by Election Night section. It’s going to track realtime results as they are announced and will produce infographics on developments in the most crucial House, Senate and Gubernatorial races.
Significantly, the data for the realtime results comes from the Associated Press while live video feeds are coming from NBC News. And Apple says that for Election Night, you won’t have to have to be registered or signed in to your local TV provider to get this video feed.
Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.