Advocates for Social Justice offering free Uber rides to the polls for all voters and childcare reimbursement

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During an event on Sunday, Oct. 4, the Advocates for Social Justice helped get attendees registered to vote. — Jessica Abdoney/Little Village

Iowans who need transportation to their polling place can use a free Uber voucher provided by the Advocates for Social Justice.

The Cedar Rapids group announced on their Facebook page Wednesday evening that they are partnering with Democracy Defenders Iowa to expand their free Uber voucher to all Iowa voters. The group has already been offering free Uber rides to Linn County voters.

Democracy Defenders Iowa, which describes itself as a “statewide alliance of labor unions, community organizations, student groups, faith communities, and political leaders,” is focused on making it easier for naturalized citizens, second-generation immigrants and recently incarcerated people to vote.

In August, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order that automatically restored the voting rights of almost all Iowans convicted of a felony. Secretary of State Paul Pate estimated the order may impact about 35,000 Iowans. As of Oct. 14, at least 2,550 formerly incarcerated individuals had registered to vote, according to Iowa Public Radio.

Voting rights advocates and some elected officials have criticized the Reynolds administration for not doing more to help those newly eligible individuals get registered to vote.

IPR reported that it took weeks for Iowa’s official voter registration to be updated and months for the Secretary of State’s office to create a website with information for those who had their voting rights restored. A mailer sent to Iowans who were eligible to vote but not registered did not explain that most Iowans with felony convictions had their voting rights restored.

Advocates for increasing state efforts held a news conference in Des Moines on Wednesday. Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker, who spoke at the event, said it’s “a travesty of democracy” and it’s “on our government” to make sure eligible voters are aware of their rights.

ASJ’s Uber voucher can be used for those voting in-person early or on Election Day. The free rides will be available until 10 p.m. on Nov. 3 and will take the individual to the polling place and back home.

Now all Iowans can get a free ride to their polling place! Advocates for Social Justice is partnering with Democracy…

Posted by Advocates for Social Justice on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

ASJ is also offering childcare reimbursement to make it easier for parents to vote. The group is asking parents to message them a receipt through Facebook for up to six hours of childcare. The receipt can be handwritten.

The group will then send a reimbursement via check or Venmo with no questions asked, according to the group.

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