Voter turnout is always a concern during the election season. A common misconception is that a lack of registering in time is the main cause. Voter registration is only one barrier. Once the voter registration process is complete, transportation to the polls can be an issue as well. Many organizations and nonprofits see carpooling to the polls as a potential remedy.
“Inadequate transportation is the third most-cited reason for not showing up, placing just behind disliking the candidates and being too busy or having a conflict like work or school.”
For those with reliable daily transportation, it’s easy to underestimate how getting to the polls can be difficult. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement noted inadequate transportation as the third most-cited reason for not showing up, placing just behind disliking the candidates and being too busy or having a conflict like work or school. Noting that rideshare and carpooling options jumped 53 percent in 2017, especially within the millennial age demographic, this could be a positive solution.
Carpooling to the Polls: Super Tuesday Transportation and Beyond
Many local and national organizations are working hard to eliminate the lack of transportation as a reason for non-voter turnout. Organizations like Rideshare2vote and Carpool Vote are doing their part so that everyone has the opportunity to place their votes for Super Tuesday and future elections.
Rideshare2vote app works with voters needing rides by providing on-demand service, through a toll-free phone line answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Using both web and mobile applications, voters with minimal access to technology still have an opportunity for transportation to cast their ballot.
Carpool Vote works similarly to connect volunteer drivers with anyone who needs a ride to get to their polling location and vote.
In 2018, Uber installed a “Get to the Polls” option within their app. It offered riders not only a free ride but would also do the work of locating their polling location. It is anticipated that riders will see this again for upcoming elections.