Monday, October 25, 2010

How are you getting to the polls?

For some, that's not always an easy question to answer, which is why many groups get out the vote by offering rides to the polls. However, free rides to the polls seem to be on the decline, or at least chatter about them is. Unfortunately (and understandably), time-strapped and resource depleted organizations have found it increasingly difficult to offer this service. One reason offering rides has become a less common get-out-the-vote tactic, is simply because it can be a difficult enterprise to organize and coordinate. But that’s not stopping some groups this election cycle.

A group of young organizers at the University of Nevada, Reno have added a unique twist to the idea: pedicab rides to the polls. Similarly, the Minnesota Participation Project is spearheading a coalition of nonprofit organizations that will be offering free nonpartisan rides to the polls on November 2nd in the Twin Cities metro area. To reserve a seat, call 1-877-50-RIDES and leave your contact information. You can also sign up to serve as a volunteer driver.

Rides to the polls are a great way to facilitate voting in your community. If you’re a nonprofit interested in offering rides, see if you can collaborate with another organization. Just make sure that rides are equally available to all (regardless of political affiliation).

If you’re looking for a ride for yourself or a client, both major parties generally offer rides to the polls, but again it depends on where you live. Try a quick Google search (make sure to include your city) or check your local paper to see if someone in your area is offering rides this year.

If that doesn’t work, you can ask to carpool with a neighbor, use public transportation, or dust off that unicycle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help—it doesn’t matter how you get there, just that you get there!

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