As the 2018 midterm elections draw near, there is a push to drive the vote. Ride share apps, like Uber and Lyft, are offering discounts for rides to polling places on Election Day. But one local labor union, is providing rides completely free to voters in Winnebago and Boone County.
“We send a courtesy vehicle with two people,” said UAW Local Political Coordinator John Gedney. “That vehicle will bring them to the polls regardless of their party affiliation.”
UAW offers rides every weekday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Rockford Board of Elections executive director Stacey Bixby says this service is crucial for many in the Stateline.
“There are a lot of people out there that don’t drive or have a hard time getting to the polling place,” said Bixby. “If they can call someone and they can come pick them up and they don’t have to pay for it? What a better way to get them to the polling place.”
Gedney says something as simple as offering rides has the power to make an impact in our communities. But adds it’s up to every resident to make a difference.
“Illinois makes it very easy to participate in the election process now,” said Gedney. “We make it even easier by giving you a ride to the polls.”
Bixby says there should be zero excuses when it comes to making your voice heard.
“With these businesses offering or these organizations that are offering these rides, there’s absolutely no reason to say I can’t get there,” said Bixby. “Because you can [get there] and your vote does matter.”
Gedney says UAW understands the importance of elections and hopes to inspire everyone and anyone to turn in a ballot.
“We just want them to know that there’s a place you can call to get a ride to the polls and you don’t have to worry about funds, you don’t have to worry about the weather and you don’t have to worry about getting in and out of a car.”
The UAW is offering rides now and will continue to offer rides all day on Election Day. For a ride, call 815-323-2985.