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Lyft, National Council on Aging partner to help get seniors to polls

Lyft logo on smart phone.
The Associated Press/Gene J. Puskar

A new partnership between the ride sharing service Lyft and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) aims to get more seniors to the polls on Nov. 8th. 

The company will offer ride redemption codes valued up to $50 to cover the costs of traveling to and from voting locations for the midterm elections. The initiative is part of the company’s broader 2022 LyftUp Voting Access Program, first introduced in February.

Census data show Americans between the ages 65 and 74 have some of the highest election turnout rates, as 76 percent of this age group voted in the 2020 presidential election. 

“Older adults want to participate in our democracy, but many do not have transportation to get to polling stations,” NCOA President and CEO Ramsey Alwin said in a release

Lack of access to polling places serves as a key barrier to voters across demographics, while older voters who no longer drive or have mobility restrictions may find it difficult to physically reach polling locations. 

One Government Accountability Office report from 2008 found “with every 10 years after reaching the age of 65, the risk of losing mobility doubles.” 

The Lyft codes can be used for bike and scooter rides along with car trips. NCOA will distribute the codes to its aging services network, where professionals can help seniors use the discounts. There are no location restrictions on where the codes can be redeemed, and codes are valid through Nov. 8th.

However, a limited number of codes are available and are offered on a first-come first-serve basis.

“We believe that everyone’s voice—and vote—deserves to be heard, and transportation should never be a barrier,” Lyft’s Director of Social Impact Lisa Boyd said. 

The initiative follows a similar effort during the COVID-19 pandemic where NCOA and Lyft partnered to provide transportation for older adults looking to receive their vaccines and boosters. Nearly 1,800 older adults and caregivers took advantage of those codes, amounting to over 3,500 rides.

NCOA’s website offers guidance on how caregivers can help older adults create a Lyft account, apply the promo code, and request a ride. It also offers tips for older adult riders and instructions on ordering the discounted rides for seniors who do not have smartphones. 

Tags 2020 election 2022 LyftUp Voting Access Program 2022 midterm elections Government Accountability Office Lisa Boyd Lyft National Council on Aging Ramsey Alwin voter accessibility
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