Free rides, coffee and beer on Election Day

Once the voting process is officially completed, voters can reward themselves at local bars and eateries.


Ridsharing drivers are offering discounted and free rides to the polls. Screenshot by Nadia Mishkin.

Nadia Mishkin, News Editor

Approximately 15 million people didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election because they didn’t have transportation to their polling place, according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

To help mobilize voters on Tuesday, rideshare companies Lyft and Uber are offering discounted and free rides to the polls.

Lyft screenshot
Nadia Mishkin
Ridesharing drivers are mobilizing to give discounted and free rides to the polls. Lyft screenshot by Nadia Mishkin.

Uber will have a “get to the polls” button in the app on Tuesday that will enable users to find their polling place and book a ride to that location. It will be offering a $10 credit towards rides to the polls using the most affordable option available.

In order to take advantage of this offer, users need to have the most recent version of the app downloaded and use the promotional code VOTE2018.

Lyft is providing 50 percent off standard rides to polling locations, up to $5. Through nonpartisan, nonprofit sponsors, they are also providing free rides to the polls in underserved communities. The discounted ride promotional code is accessible via BuzzFeed.

The voting process itself can be an arduous journey, let alone getting to the physical polling location. From registering and studying the measures and candidates, to filling out the ballot and casting a vote, there is a lot that goes into doing one’s civic duty.

Once the voting process is officially completed, voters can reward themselves. Here are the local bars and cafes offering free or discounted coffee and beer for voters on Election Day:

Lazy Hummingbird Coffee & Tea House in Ocean Beach and La Mesa are giving away free coffee all day on Tuesday and Wednesday to anyone who voted.

Its Facebook page said, “We wanted to extend the offer until Nov. 7, because we know some of you may not be able to get to the polls until later in the day and won’t want a coffee, so come in the next morning and reward yourself!

“Look at that, the rewards of voting are already paying off! Just show your lovely ‘I Voted’ sticker to redeem your free drink. Proud of you!”

Neighborhood pub in the Gaslamp Quarter is celebrating San Diego Beer Week as well as Election Day, and its Facebook page said, “Show us your ‘I Voted’ sticker for a treat that is sure to take the edge off of a high stakes day.”

Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest is holding a live viewing party of the election results and giving away free beers to anyone who shows their “I Voted” sticker. According to the event page, it will have food and drink specials as well.

Pacific Islander Beer Company in Santee is giving away free pints of beer to those with “I Voted” stickers or mail-in ballot receipts. The Facebook event page also said “Free Nachos!”

Tiger! Tiger! on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park is holding a “post-voting party” starting at 7 p.m. that includes a conversation with San Diego County Board of Supervisors candidate Omar Passons. There will be $3 craft beers for voters with their stickers, and election results will be on display.

In the U.S., voter turnout is lower than most democracies around the world. Approximately 60 percent of eligible voters voted in recent presidential elections, and only 40 percent voted in the last midterm elections.

Discounted rides and small voting rewards are one way to increase civic engagement in elections.