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Free Uber and Lyft rides to Philly polls on Election Day

Updated Nov. 7

Trying to figure out how to get to the polls so you can cast your vote on Election Day? Good news: You can take Uber or Lyft for free.

Just call your ride, enter your polling location as destination, and enter the promo code VOTEPA.

That’s thanks to My Ride to Vote, a California-based Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton. The PAC is crowdfunding payment for as many voters as it can around the country, but is making a special effort for Pennsylvania because, as it wrote on its Crowdpac page, “[i]f Donald Trump loses Pennsylvania, he won’t be President Trump.”

An Crowdpac update posted on Nov. 5 stressed the urgency of the campaign specifically in Philadelphia, since the SEPTA strike was still ongoing: “Philly is one of the largest turnout cities for Pennsylvania. All of these voters are going to need rides.”

The SEPTA strike is what really drew attention of the My Ride to Vote organizers, per co-founder Anna Soellner, who said the PA-specific code was set up late Thursday. Now that the strike is over, the wording on the Crowdpac page has been updated to include focus on Florida and North Carolina in addition to Pennsylvania.

A spokesperson from Lyft confirmed the partnership, noting that it fits the company’s mission to “make it easier for people to get around their cities” and that they are “always happy to see how others use the platform to connect their communities.”

Uber confirmed that My Ride to Vote is using a platform it calls UberEVENTS, through which any group or organization can provide rides with a customized promo code. “Whether we are getting voters to the polls on election day or riders home safely from a holiday party, we are happy to make (it) accessible to organizations to help move people to the places they need to be,” said a spokesperson.

As of Saturday night, the the My Ride to Vote crowdfunding page had raised more than half its $150,000 goal, via a single donor who gave $25,000 and more than 1,100 individuals who also chipped in. As of Monday morning, the goal had been extended to a whopping $850,000 — of which $325,000 had already been raised by more than 4,400 people. Those funds will be distributed across the country to various efforts run by the PAC, which started as an offshoot of San Francisco’s Voto Latino civic media organization.

The PAC is estimating that on average, each donation of $15 will get one voter to the polls. Asked what will happen if someone tries to use the freebie code and the money has run out, Soellner demurred. “People should try to get to the polls earlier rather than later!” she said. She and her colleagues are still trying to determine exactly how to handle it if that situation arises, but are hopeful it won’t.

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