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Posted 
Oct 29, 2020
 in 
College Life
 category

Tuition isn’t cheap, to say the least. That’s why it’s important to maximize your bang for your buck as a college student. Thankfully going out to the polls can get you some deals while checking off the most important adulting check box. Find below a list of voting perks that can help you out on election day!

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Getting the to the polls

Since buying a parking pass can be pretty expensive and owning a car is too, here are few cost effective ways to get yourself to your local polling place on November 3. Fortunately a lot of ride sharing apps offer some form of voting perk to cash in on! 

Getting to the polls as a college student can be hard, but have no fear voting perks this year include ride benefits. 

Uber

Uber announced its plan to help voters get to the polls in early October. A decision based off of the statement that 14% of eligible voters hit a transportation barrier in the 2016 election would be a part of why Uber would help people find their polling locations with an in-app poll-finding feature, and 50% off roundtrip rides to and from the polls (up to $7 each trip), or up to $14 for the two trips. This offer is also available on their bikes and scooter services, but terms and conditions do apply.

Due to the high demand of polling places with social distancing in place, Uber has also offered in 17 states to use their Greenlight Hubs as additional polling places. While most places are still being assessed two locations have been approved by LA county and will be Voting Centers in the Presidential General Election.

Lyft

Lyft users can use a discount on election day offering a discount (up to $10 off) a one-way car, scooter, or bike share ride to polling places anywhere in the U.S. when riders use the promo code 2020VOTE. Lyft is also working with nonprofit organizations like the Black Women's Roundtable, the National Federation for the Blind, and the Student Veterans of America to distribute additional discount codes or free rides within their communities.

Lime

 Lime is offering a free ride to the polls, up to 30 minutes long, by providing access to their fleet of shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters. All you have to do is enter code LIMETOPOLLS2020 to unlock your free half hour transit. Double perk: it's a great way to double your voting journey as a quick work out! 

Citi Bike

In New York and New Jersey, Citi Bike rides are free on Election Day. Citi Bike announced on Twitter that by entering the code BIKETOVOTE in the Citi Bike app, riders can claim a free day pass on the bikes. What’s great about there being no time restriction is you can take a back road to your polling place and really take your time to enjoy a breath fresh and the scenery. That and another double perk of it’s great way to exercise. Triple perk: You cut down on your carbon footprint by biking instead of taking a car. 

Food is the most filling of the voting perks. 

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Election Day Food Rewards

Sometimes you need a break from the dining hall on campus or are trying to budget your meal plan or money in your flex account as the food perks available for voting can help you out. Check out a few food perks you can get by exercising your right to vote. 

UberEats

UberEats will be partnering with Pizza to the Polls to deploy over 180+ food trucks across 25 cities to deliver free food. The trucks will be giving out free Shake Shack, Milk Bar and local foods. These trucks will be driving around October 24 through Election Day on November 3. So if you happened to be stationed in one of the lucky areas below there this might be a voting perk for you! 

  • Arizona: Phoenix
  • California: Los Angeles
  • Washington DC
  • Florida: Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville
  • Georgia: Atlanta
  • Kentucky: Louisville
  • Michigan: Detroit, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis
  • Michigan: Charlotte
  • North Carolina: Raleigh, Greensboro
  • Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno 
  • New York: New York (NYC)
  • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
  • South Carolina: Charleston
  • Tennessee: Nashville
  • Texas: Houston, Austin
  • Wisconsin: Milkwaukee

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is offering a free order of crinkle-cut French fries with any purchase on Election Day. Voters can walk in and show off their “I Voted” sticker or use the Shake Shack app to redeem the offer. It’s a salty treat you’ve earned for casting your ballot. Besides do carbs even really count on the holidays? Why should Christmas and Thanksgiving get to be considered the only cheat holidays?

Krispy Kreme

On election day, wearing your "I voted" sticker will score you a fresh, hot donut at participating Krispy Kreme donut shops. It’s a sweet deal, pun fully intended. Besides, what breakfast beats a hot fresh Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut? It’s the peak tier of doughnuts. Soft, fluffy, and almost too good for this world. 

Bob Evans 

This national chain offers a 30% discount for anyone who has voted. The warm and friendly service will have you wanting to come back for more. Just in case that Krispy Kreme doughnut wasn’t enough to fill up the stomach?

California Tortilla

Deciding what to eat won’t need to be put up to a vote on election day because California Tortilla supports voters by handing out free chips and queso. This  is a true blessing because chips and dip is probably the best part of every Mexican food experience it’s in. Liquid cheesy goodness combined with a delicious crunch of tortilla chips. 

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Extra perks

These are voting perks that fall into the miscellaneous category. Don’t worry these perks are just as amazing! From retail therapy to childcare this section has it all. 

OCM

OCM will take $10 off your order on election day! Share your sticker by tagging @ocmcollegelife or using #OCMGetsOutTheVote to receive a special discount code!

Splurge for some new bedding or some fresh dorm decor. Online shopping is the best way to treat yourself after going out to the polls. Besides with OCM’s wide selection of fashionable goods you’ll want every discount you can get.

YMCA

Need help finding child care on election day?  A babysitter can be expensive and voting can take a while, but often not long to entice a sitter to switch up their schedule to sit for an hour or two. Fortunately, the Y has your back. Participating locations offer up to two hours of free childcare for members and nonmembers with children for 2 years and older. This way you don’t have to worry about your kid getting bored in line or wondering off this election year.

Consider your responsibility as a voter before you cash in your voting perks. 

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Things to remember before cashing in your voting perks

While getting voting perks is a nice benefit of taking part in the election, there is a reason why it’s a perk. Voting perks are put in place to reward a well informed voter. The stakes have been set pretty high with the 2020 election. No matter what your political beliefs the decision should be well informed and intended to improve the country. Here are few ways to be a well-informed voter! 

Follow the debates

So the debate might not be the most stimulating activity, depending on what kind of person you are, but there are many perks to knowing what your candidates are about. How they act and treat who they are debating, how well they perform under some pressure, and how they treat the moderator. You’d be surprised at what you do and don’t see especially if you value moral character in a candidate. 

Participate in political discussion

It’s not easy in this day and age to participate in honest political discussion without getting heated, but at least try. Open your mind to different perspectives and see how other candidates and policies will affect those around you and not just yourself. They might see something in a way you hadn’t thought of or vice versa. This might change how you value certain voter issues. 

Consider all your options

Just because Americans participate in a two party system doesn’t mean you have to accept whatever two candidates the parties offer up. The system should work for you and not the party. If you’re feeling disenchanted by both political sides, browse around for a third party candidate. Even if this person might not win, the voting numbers will show politician’s in power where the important issues are at and step it up. There is a chance you look around and find nothing which means you can pick your poison or write someone in an attempt to show politicians what their platforms are and aren't working for you as a voter. The great thing about America is that you're free to choose what you do with your vote, and what that means to you.

These are just a few ideas of what to do before cashing in voting perks. Most importantly is that you get out there and cast your ballot. What the President, Vice President, Congress and so on do directly affects your daily life so of course you should exercise your say in the matter.  

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