WASHINGTON — More money is being poured into the presidential election, but this time it is not going to the candidates themselves.
A new super PAC raised thousands of dollars to offer voters free rides to their polling places.
My Ride to Vote PAC launched late last month in an attempt to utilize the rise in ride-hailing services in the four years since the last presidential election.
My Ride to Vote co-founder Adam Berke said the idea felt like a tangible way to help voter turnout and remove obstacles to vote.
"You get the best outcomes overall if all viewpoints are represented," said Berke.
My Ride to Vote co-found Anna Soellner added that it is not just about convenience, but also eliminating access and safety obstacles.
“Getting to the polls should not be difficult and this was one small way we could help people do that in a safe and efficient manner,” said Soellner.
The super PAC is partnering with Voto Latino, which offers a network of voters to target their efforts toward.
"They have a vast database of voters that's very much in one of the demographics we believe could use assistance in turning out," Berke said.
Vote Latino COO Jessica Reeves said they are primarily targeting voters in North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona with an emphasis on Orlando and Charlotte.
The groups are teaming up with ride-hailing company Lyft to provide the rides to the polls.
To be eligible for a free ride to the polls, voters must text ‘Go Vote’ to 71379. Voters will then have to answer a few questions and then will be given a promo code to enter in the Lyft app.
A spokeswoman for Lyft said in a statement the company is "always happy to see how others use the platform to help connect their communities," but did not detail any specific ways Lyft would be involved in this effort on Election Day.
As of Friday afternoon, My Ride to Vote raised more than $33,000 of its $100,000 goal through crowdsourcing site Crowd PAC.
Berke said he thinks they will exceed that goal by Nov. 8.
"There's the crowdfunding aspect on one side of things,” Berke said. “We also have relationships with folks in Silicon Valley who get excited about opportunities to apply technologies in new ways so there's a separate fundraising.”
Both My Ride to Vote and Vote Latino are ultimately interested in removing barriers to vote.
That’s why they will also use the money raised to offer free rides to the polls for voters nationwide.
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