RICHMOND, Va. — In an effort to bolster voter turnout for next week’s midterm election, Mayor Levar Stoney and Stone Brewing Co. have partnered up to offer Richmond residents free rides to their polling places on Tuesday.
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Beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Election Day, residents can catch a ride to their polling location on a chartered party bus with Stoney. The bus will run in a loop around the city throughout the day, stopping at each polling place. Stoney said he approached Stone Brewing after learning about low turnout numbers during midterm years and the ambivalence many people have toward local elections. He had heard that Uber and Lyft were offering free rides to voters but felt he could do more.
“I really want people to get out and vote,” Stoney said. “If the fear of higher taxes and eroding civil liberties won’t get people off their asses, maybe a giant party bus and a free IPA will do the trick.”
To celebrate the spirit of civic responsibility, Stone Brewing also created Term Limits Session IPA, a signature beer for the big event.
“We thought this was a great opportunity to give back to RVA, while continuing our tradition of shamelessly attaching our name to random events throughout the city,” Andrew Jacobs, Stone’s brewmaster, said.
While residents have mostly applauded the novel approach to increasing voter turnout, Stoney’s plan to require residents to show identification before boarding the bus has caused some controversy. He said he is concerned that nonresidents may take advantage of the situation for free beer.
“I know that a voter ID requirement kind of goes against the spirit of our initiative, but we have limited space and limited supply of beer,” Stoney said.
After a brief meeting with concerned citizens, Stoney agreed to waive the ID requirement provided the individual brings a friend who can vouch for them.
“Look, this election is a really big deal. So I promise we will not turn anyone away who wants a ride,” Stoney said. “Well, anyone except Libertarians, those people are insufferable. Taxation is not theft, you idiots.”
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