Free Lyfts and free pizza: What voters need to know on Election Day


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

Students can visit the Story County website to receive information about registering to vote, sending in absentee ballots and the election in general.

Students can take advantage of free and discounted rides to the polls in an effort to increase student voter engagement.

Polling locations and hours

Polls in Iowa are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. In Ames, there are a total of 24 polling places. The on-campus polling locations include:

– Room 2009 of Buchanan Hall
– The conference room of Maple Hall (MB01)
– Room 136 of Union Drive Community Center
– Frederiksen Court Community Center

Voters in Story County can use the polling place finder from Story County’s website to find their nearest precinct.

Students who experience difficulty in getting to the polls due to transportation issues can use the code CAMPUSTAKEVOTE on Lyft for a free ride up to $20 for transportation to a polling location. Students can also use the code VOTE22 for 50% off their ride. Both codes are one-time use and are only active on Election Day.

“So locally, we might think of that as a student in Ames who wants to vote in Nevada or in Des Moines, and they don’t have a car that enables them to do this,” said Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center. “So this is a great national effort to just reduce another barrier –transportation– that college students might face to enable them to vote.”

If individuals find themselves with a wait longer than an hour at the polls, they can request a free pizza from Pizza to the Polls, a nonpartisan nonprofit that provides free food to people waiting in long lines while they wait to vote, according to their website.

According to Clarissa Unger, co-founder and executive director of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, the partnership with Lyft was made possible with the collaboration of Campus Takeover, an initiative that aims to mobilize students around elections, according to their website.

“I think it’s worth knowing that our students don’t have just one location that they can go; there’s more than one polling place in town, and they need to know which one to go to,” Kewdrowski said, “and that would be based on their Ames address if they’re planning to vote in Ames.”

What to bring to the polls

As previously reported by the Daily, voters are required to bring a valid form of identification and proof of residency to the polls. Students can use their Iowa State student ID and the information provided on Access Plus under the Voter Reg Address tab as forms of identification and proof of residency.

Voters are also able to register to vote at the polls– prior registration is not required.