US presidential election: Latinos offered free transport to the polls

Washington, Nov 8 (IANS) A new campaign offers Latinos free transport to the polls for Tuesday’s presidential election aimed at boosting their participation.

Due to the collaboration of the organizations Voto Latino, which promotes the Hispanic vote; Rock the Vote, which encourages young people to exercise their right to vote; and Mitu, an online news site targeting Latino youth, those members of the Hispanic population who need a little help getting mobilized can take advantage of this free transportation to the polls, Efe news reported.

The campaign will make use of the ride hailing Lyft and Uber companies to give voters their free ride.

Whoever wishes to order a car to the voting centre where he or she is registered must send a text message with the words “Go Vote” to telephone number 73179.

New users of Lyft can obtain the free transportation service anywhere in the country, while those who are already users can take advantage of the campaign in cities where the company is available in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and California.

As for Uber, free transport for voters will be available in the states of Pennsylvania and Florida, though Voto Latino has expressed its hope of expanding the campaign to other areas.

“As an organisation deeply concerned that our young people play a part in our democracy, these collaborations will help tens of thousands of voters get a ride to the polls, and we will get close to full participation,” the president and executive director of Voto Latino, Maria Teresa Kumar, said.

For her part, the president and executive director of Rock the Vote, Carolyn E. DeWitt, noted that democracy is “stronger” when everyone’s voice is heard, and for that reason emphasised the importance of offering this free transport to polling centres in key states.