The third time was a charm this morning for Chris Ruder, a Wicker Park man who said he went to two polling places before finding the correct one and casting his ballot. The 30-year-old 1st Ward resident explained that redistricting (and his own lack of awareness) were to blame for the mixup.
Fortunately, he was able to recoup lost time after bouncing between polling places, Ruder said. He requested a lift from Uber via the San Francisco-based tech startup's smartphone app.
"Once I was able to vote, I stepped outside, hit up Uber, and it showed up I think in three and a half minutes, and I was at work 10 minutes later," said Ruder, an ad salesman for Live Nation who works downtown.
Max Crowley, an Uber spokesman in Chicago, said the promotion was about "giving everybody an equal opportunity to get to the polls, because all it requires is that you have a phone and we can get you to a polling place."
"Speed" is a big need on election day, Crowley said.
"I think people are always looking for how they can get over to a polling place as quickly as possible and then get back to work," Crowley said.
He could have been talking about Ryan Beshel, who used the service to take him from a voting center in Ravenswood to downtown, where he works as a publicist for 900 North Michigan Shops.
"It was super useful," Beshel said. "You're already getting up early and you don't necessarily want to be late to work, so it was a good way for me to get up, get to the polling place, vote, and then quickly get back downtown to work without having to take the normal 30-40 minute trip."