Politics

Your Ride to the Polls Is Two Minutes Away: Lyft Helps Get Out the Vote

Critics say the company’s gesture is no match for disenfranchisement across the country

Kris Kobach is the Republican nominee for governor in Kansas. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Latino advocacy group announced Monday it will partner with Lyft to drive Kansas voters to the polls, Fortune reported.

The Latino community in Dodge City — a factory town located 160 miles from Wichita — worried about depressed turnout when local officials announced weeks before Election Day that its only polling place would move outside city limits to a remote location more than a mile away from the nearest bus stop.

The polling place in the predominantly Latino city serves 13,000 voters, compared to an average 1,200 voters per polling site at other Kansas locations, the ACLU told The Washington Post.

Voto Latino said on its website that “due to high demand we won’t be able to cover everyone that needs a ride,” and is asking for donations.

The controversy in Dodge City comes as Kansas prepares to vote in a competitive gubernatorial contest.

Kris Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas and the Republican nominee, has become for Democrats an emblem of the debunked theory that Latino non-citizens are committing widespread voter fraud.

Kobach successfully lobbied the state legislature to grant his office powers to investigate in 2015, but he’s filed only a handful of cases, mostly involving white men who own homes in more than one state, Reveal reported.

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Kobach “the lawyer for America’s nativist movement.” He faces Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly on Election Day in a race that Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Tilts Republican.

Critics say the company’s gesture is no match for a tide of disenfranchisement affecting people of color across the country. They point to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been locked out of voting in Georgia, North Dakota and other states.

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