NAACP and Lyft Join Forces to Boost Black Voter Turnout

The NAACP partners with Lyft to provide free and discounted rides to the polls on Election Day 2024, aiming to increase voter turnout among Black Americans. Lyft's 2024 Voting Access Program also includes voter registration assistance and a community college initiative to galvanize young voters.

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NAACP and Lyft Join Forces to Boost Black Voter Turnout

NAACP and Lyft Join Forces to Boost Black Voter Turnout

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has partnered with ride-sharing giant Lyft to provide free and discounted rides to the polls on Election Day 2024. This initiative, part of Lyft's 2024 Voting Access Program, aims to increase voter turnout, particularly among Black Americans, in the face of voting restrictions enacted in several states following the contentious 2020 election.

Why this matters: Efforts to restrict voting access can have a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, and initiatives like this partnership can help mitigate the effects of these restrictions. By increasing voter turnout, especially among underrepresented groups, this partnership can help ensure that the democratic process is more representative of the population as a whole.

Lyft CEO David Risher emphasized the importance of the program, stating, "Every American citizen should be able to exercise their right to vote without worrying about the cost or difficulty of getting to the polls." The company's commitment to voting access spans over a decade, with efforts that have helped more than 3 million people exercise their right to vote since 2014. This year, Lyft hopes to grow the program's ride volume by 25%.

The NAACP's partnership with Lyft comes at a critical time, as several states have implemented measures that restrict voting access, such as reducing drop box availability and placing limitations on mail-in ballots. NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson stressed the urgency of the situation, declaring, "During a time where our most sacred right to vote is under attack, we must fight back with every tool at our disposal." Johnson further highlighted the transportation barriers faced by many Black Americans, noting, "For many Americans, especially Black Americans, accessible and affordable transportation continues to impede access to the ballot box."

The 2024 Lyft Up Voting Access Program will provide free and discounted rides to polling locations and designated drop box sites across the country. Lyft will also work with nonprofit partners, including the National Council of Negro Women, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, and the Hispanic Federation, to distribute ride codes to individuals within their networks who are most in need of transportation on Election Day.

In addition to providing transportation, Lyft will assist riders and drivers with voter registration, preparation, and understanding local voting ID requirements and laws. The company has also launched a new non-partisan initiative called the Community College Commitment, in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co., Showtime, and MTV, to galvanize community college students. This demographic, which accounted for about one-third of U.S. college students in 2020, had a voting rate nearly 10 percentage points lower than that of students at four-year universities.

The Community College Commitment aims to increase voter turnout by 500,000 new voters by 2028, focusing on the growing community college population, which is projected to increase from 4.7 million students in the fall of 2021 to 5.3 million by 2031. Lyft CEO David Risher stressed the importance of engaging young voters, stating, "If you start voting when you're young, it becomes part of your life. It's a habit to build."

Wisdom Cole, National Director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, underscored the significance of the partnership, emphasizing that"many young people, especially young Black people, are disenfranchised by a lack of basic knowledge and resources. Cole expressed appreciation for the collaboration with Lyft, which will help ensure that transportation does not become a barrier to voting for college students.

The NAACP and Lyft's partnership to increase Black voter turnout in the face of voting restrictions is a significant step towards ensuring equal access to the democratic process. Nationwide preparations for the 2024 election are underway, with initiatives like the Lyft Up Voting Access Program and the Community College Commitment serving as powerful tools to mobilize and empower voters, particularly those from underrepresented communities. The fight for voting rights continues, andcollaborations between civil rights organizationsand socially conscious corporations offer a glimmer of hope in the ongoing struggle for equality and justice.

Key Takeaways

  • NAACP partners with Lyft to offer free and discounted rides to polls on Election Day 2024.
  • Initiative aims to increase voter turnout, especially among Black Americans, amidst voting restrictions.
  • Lyft's Voting Access Program has helped over 3 million people exercise their right to vote since 2014.
  • Partnership will provide rides to polling locations and drop box sites, and assist with voter registration and education.
  • Goal is to increase voter turnout by 500,000 new voters by 2028, focusing on community college students.