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October 11, 2018

You can get a free Uber ride to the polls this Election Day

Elections Uber
Pennsylvania voting machines elections Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Voting machines at a polling location in the dining room of The Gold Standard Cafe on Baltimore Ave. in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

In an effort to help voters show up to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Uber will be offering ways to get free rides for people headed to the polls.

The ride-share service announced Thursday that Uber users can find their polling place in the app come Election Day and book a ride to get there, free of charge, using promo codes distributed by #VoteTogether and Democracy Works.

RELATED: SEPTA denies petition for free public transit on Election Day

The voter registration deadline in Pennsylvania is already closed, but Uber is also helping people register in time for the midterm elections. In the app there are now resources to assist riders through the process, and the company plans to email riders and drivers, as well as UberEats delivery partners, about voter registration.

Uber is not alone in offering Election Day benefits. Local bike-share program Indego announced this week it would offer free day passes to use its bikes on Nov. 6.

Back in August Lyft announced it would provide discounted rides for Election Day customers as well. The service's Ride to Vote initiative will offer half-priced rides across the country and completely free rides in "underserved" communities where people may need more help accessing the pools. The deal only works for one-way trips.

Despite a popular petition asking SEPTA to also offer free service for Election Day, which noted that access to public transportation can be a barrier deterring voters, representatives from the transit agency have asserted that it's not happening. SEPTA officials noted to cost associated with free rides on Election Day, and that in Philadelphia, most residents live within five blocks of their polling places.

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