Zip to the polls
Jeremy Runnalls is the managing editor of Corporate Knights Magazine. Follow him on twitter.
The carsharing company Zipcar has established a program this year called Zip to the Polls to help American voters access their local station on November 6th. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is offering 50% off prices all day for Americans interested in making an hour-long reservation. It is also actively supporting Rock the Vote, the nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to engage and build the political power of young people.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for our members to cast a ballot in this year’s election by providing the flexibility to get to the polls whenever is most convenient, whether that’s in the morning, at lunch, during the workday or the evening,” said Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO in a press release.
The 1845 law passed by Congress mandates that Presidential elections must occur on the first tuesday in November every four years. The reasoning was that the rural populace, to avoid travelling on Sunday (the Sabbath) would travel into town monday to vote on tuesday. In 2012, however, this mainly serves as an impediment to those working during the week.
The Zipcar deal comes as a number of nonprofits in recent years (certainly campaigns are active as well) have begun to facilitate shuttles and carpooling for those otherwise unable to vote. With turnout averaging less than 50 per cent in federal elections since 1945, many states are allowing citizens to cast absentee ballots or vote early. One-third of votes are expected to be cast before November 6th, up from 31 per cent in 2008.