Lack of Transportation
Transportation issues on Election Day impact anyone that does not have access to or cannot afford private or public transportation.
Low income, as well as young and older people may be prevented from voting if they do not have or cannot afford a driver’s license, or don’t have access to a car. Public transit is not always readily accessible, particularly in rural areas.
Disabled voters are especially hindered from voting unless they have access to a modified vehicle, can depend on a friend or family member to take them to the polls or can access Metro Mobility, at least in the Twin Cities region.
People living in rural areas often must travel long distances to polling places and if transportation is not readily available the motivation to vote is often severely diminished.
Minnesota Transportation Options
Minnesota provides free public transportation in the metropolitan area and some suburbs on Election Day. Minnesota also allows no-excuse absentee voting.
People can contact their political parties or the Minnesota Secretary of State to find their polling places. Some organizations also offer rides to individuals to reach the polling place. Colleges and universities often arrange rides to polling place to ensure that young people get out to vote.
Free rides help people reach the polls and there are lots of opportunities to offer assistance to those with transportation barriers. With the change to no excuse absentee balloting in 2014, many who are homebound can cast their ballot through the mail. While still not a perfect system, it does improve accessibility.