FULTON COUNTY, Ga.— Voters in the 6th Congressional District can get a free ride to the polls on voting day Tuesday through My Ride to Vote, a get-out-the-vote organization raising money to fund Uber rides to voting locations.
The organization’s executive director Ben Leiner said My Ride to Vote is a nonpartisan organization with the mission of providing rides to the polls for people who wouldn’t be able to cast ballots without the transportation service. The organization also has a more specific goal in mind.
“Although we are providing rides to anyone who wants them, and we measure our success in a lot of ways based on how many people take advantage of our services, our real goal is to make sure that marginalized voices in the community are heard,” Leiner said.
During the presidential election, My Ride to Vote provided rides to get voters to polls in Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina. After a change in leadership, the organization decided to focus on local races.
“Georgia 6 was a natural place to go considering that the new leadership of the organization are all affiliated with Emory,” said Leiner, an Emory graduate. “Based on our local connections, the importance of the race, the fact that a few votes could make a difference on either side, and that there was a community in need of rides, we thought that Georgia 6 would be the great first place to go.”
Leiner said there are three ways voters can access a free ride on Election Day:
• Text VOTEGA to 38470 and receive a PDF with instructions to download and to upload the promo code in the Uber app.
• Put the promo code VOTEGA directly into the Uber app, if voters already have it on their phones.
• Call a hotline. The number for the hotline is 770-765-7175, and My Ride to Vote will send an Uber directly to voters’ doors.
To fund these rides, My Ride to Vote has been raising money using Crowdpac, a crowdfunding website for campaigns and political organizations. As of June 14, the fundraising campaign “Fund Rides to the Polls in Georgia” had raised $52,774 toward the goal of $100,000, but Leiner said the actual amount is just shy of $65,000 due to funds raised outside of Crowdpac.
When Election Day comes, Leiner said he has no idea how many people will actually take advantage of the free rides, but My Ride to Vote is ready to provide as many rides as necessary.
According to Leiner, My Ride to Vote is working with local organizations Planned Parenthood Action, Voto Latino, New Georgia Project, House Majority PAC, Spread the Vote, and the Progressive Turnout Project to canvass at MARTA stations and low-income housing complexes, as well as knock on doors to spread the word
My Ride to Vote has also been getting the word out through media appearances, digital targeting on Facebook and Instagram and sending out text messages.
Ensuring voters are aware of the free ride service is important for My Ride to Vote’s mission, Leiner said.
“Georgia in particular makes it very hard for people to vote, through voter ID laws and other types of voter suppression,” Leiner said. “Regardless of who wins the election, our mission is to make sure the most possible voices have a say in the outcome.”
For more information on getting a free ride to the polls on June 20, visit https://myridetovote.org. To donate to the organization, visit https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/208163/fund-rides-to-the-polls-in-georgia.