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  • From Uber Discounts to Facebook Street Cred: How Companies Are Driving Citizens To The Polls

    Lyft is offering a 50% discount to those riding to the polls today.Lyft

    You’d have to be living under a rock to not know today is Election Day—and that rock had better not have reception.
    On the Internet, American businesses are pushing their brands in the guise of civic duty to encourage customers to vote. From social media apps to fashion sites, it would be hard to miss the get-out-and-vote messages that are peppering the web.

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    While companies rolled out similar messages for the 2016 election, some are taking it up a notch this time. Uber is offering a $10 discount to any rider heading to a polling location. Spotify made an election playlist for each state, with pop hits like Migos’ “Narcos” for Florida and  Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” for Alaska. Sweetgreen, the trendy salad chain with a $1 billion valuation, emailed customers on Monday: “If you can wait in line for our bowls, then you can wait in line for the polls,” it read.
    Though midterm elections have historically lower turnout rates than presidential election years (the 2014 midterms saw the lowest turnout since 1942, with just over 37% of eligible voters showing up to the polls), early voting stats show that this election might be an exception. So far, 36 million early votes have been counted—up from the 27 million that were counted at the same time in 2014, according to Politico. This shows that all the hullabaloo around this election may actually translate to better voter turnout. Besides, as President Trump said at a rally yesterday, the midterms are “like the hottest thing.”

    Here are what a few companies are doing to keep the voting hype going on Election Day (we’ll keep updating this list as we find out about more):

    Google: The iconic Google Doodle of the day is the words “Go Vote” in the style of the Google logo—surprisingly simple, but it gets the message across.

    Facebook: Users are greeted with an Election Day reminder on their newsfeed, along with option find your local polling place via gettothepolls.com and “share” that you’ve voted.
    Twitter: Along with a banner about Election day, Twitter is also featuring election coverage on its spotlight page.
    Reddit: A pop-up greets users that says, “We want to make sure eligible Redditors get out and vote,” along with a link to polling places.

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    Spotify: The music streaming app wants you to jam your way to the polls with state-specific election playlists. The app also had a pop-up message to users with a link to polling locations.
    Uber: The ride-sharing app is giving a $10 discount for a one-way trip to the polls with the discount code “VOTE2018”. The app asks for a user’s home addresses and then provides the proper polling location.
    Lyft: Similar to Uber, Lyft is offering 50% off rides to a polling place. The company also says it’s giving free rides to those in underserved communities in partnership with nonprofits like Vote Latino and local Urban League affiliates.
    Motivate: Lyft’s bike-sharing affiliate is offering free bike rides to polling locations in nine cities for users who download the app.

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    Patagonia: The outdoor clothing company has closed every store location for Election Day just like it did in 2016. The company also teamed up with a number of retailers and companies in the “Time to Vote” campaign who are giving their employees time off to vote today.
    ModCloth: The Walmart-acquired fashion retailer shut down its site. “We’re closed today to vote,” a message on the site reads. “If every woman voted, imagine what we could do together.”
    Tinder: The dating app sent notifications to users reminding them to vote:
    Bumble: The lady-oriented counterpart to Tinder is giving users an option to add an “I am a voter” badge to their profile, in partnership with public awareness nonprofit I Am A Voter.
    Sweetgreen: While eating a salad doesn’t translate to votes, the company has made a push to get its customers to go to the polls via an email campaign and a statement from the Cofounder and CEO Jonathan Neman on Medium.
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