Need a Lyft to the polls? Michigan Legacy has it covered. | Credit Union Journal

Michigan Legacy Credit Union in Wyandotte, Mich., is offering free Lyft rides to the polls on Election Day.

Carma Peters, president and CEO of Michigan Legacy Credit Union

Consumers living in five zip codes are eligible for free round-trip service to and from their polling place through the ride-hailing service. Membership at Michigan Legacy is not required, though all riders must wear a mask. The credit union has allocated $2,500 toward the initiative and is working with Lyft to expand the service to additional zip codes.

“With the pandemic continuing, people are stressed and considering how they can safely get to the polls to vote,” Carma Peters, president and CEO of the $243 million-asset credit union, said in a press release Tuesday. “Offering free rides eases that concern and allows citizens to perform their civic duty. Plus, one of the seven principals of the credit union financial cooperative is democratic governance; so we think it is a fitting tie-in to provide rides for the communities we serve, ensuring they can exercise their right to vote in this election.”

Consumers who want to utilize the service must have the Lyft app on their phone and can use a special promo code instead of making a payment.

It’s unclear what sort of demand Michigan Legacy will have for the service. The state has already received about 2.4 million requests for absentee ballots, a four-fold increase over the 2016 election, according to local media reports. The state made absentee voting open to anyone this year, so turnout at polling sites could be lower than normal, though most observers expect long lines and wait times.

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Michigan Legacy is one of many credit unions to roll out ancillary services related to voting. Credit unions in Oklahoma, along with community banks there, partnered with the state elections board to help certify absentee ballots during both the primary and general election. Some credit unions have served as polling places in the past but many are sitting that out this year for a variety of reasons. Some credit unions have also joined a nationwide push to ensure employees have time off to vote.

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