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Are You Making It Easy for Your Employees to Vote This Election Day?

The Time to Vote coalition has grown to nearly 800 companies. The goal is to have more than 1,000 companies — from a diverse set of industries representing every state — join the movement by November 3.

A growing number of businesses and other employers are taking innovative, effective steps to ensure that the 2020 elections proceed in good order — and that their employees have everything they need to exercise their right to vote.  

Nearly 800 companies have now joined Time to Vote — a business-led, nonpartisan coalition that aims to increase voter participation in the US elections.

Voter turnout in the US is one of the lowest in the developed world — and the need for more and better engagement of the US electorate was never more obvious as after the intensely polarizing 2016 presidential election, in which a mere 55 percent participated.

Having time off work is one thing that could help: Unlike in many other countries, where voting is mandatory — and elections take place on Sundays, for example, so as not to conflict with traditional work schedules — one of the most common reasons people give for not voting in the US is that they’re too busy with the demands of work and life.

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Members of the Time to Vote coalition, which represents more than six million workers in the US*, are addressing this challenge by giving their employees the time and the tools they need to easily exercise their right to vote in the November general election. 

Research done by Sustainable Brands™Brands for Good collaboratory revealed that voting is one of the nine most impactful behaviors that consumers can engage in to help create a healthy, equitable future for all. Brands for Good Corporate Partners Clorox, PepsiCo, Target and VISA; and Contributing Partners Porter Novelli and WeSpire have joined Time to Vote.

In the summer of 2018, a diverse group of companies — spearheaded by Patagonia, PayPal and Levi Strauss — came together  to launch the non-partisan Time to Vote coalition, committing to ensure that their employees’ work schedules allowed them time to vote in that year's midterm elections. 

And if we thought the electorate was polarized in 2016 … On top of that, the 2020 elections are anticipated to be rife with their own challenges — thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the stakes for removing barriers to voting are higher than ever. Additionally, with the elections set to take place in the midst of a global movement for racial equality, it has brought to the forefront how communities of color are disproportionately affected by systemic voter suppression — and the role CEOs can play in helping to protect our democracy for all people.

So far this year, more than 700 companies – including workers in all 50 states and spanning a variety of industries – have joined Time to Vote. Over 200 companies — including Bank of America, Ben & Jerry’s, Dell, Discovery Inc, LEGO Systems, Nike, SAP, Tyson Foods, Unilever, ViacomCBS and Visa — have joined in the last three months alone, demonstrating the increased momentum of the movement as the election draws near.

“Since its inception, Time to Vote has been a powerful advocate for voter access and participation,” said Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, VP and Women & Democracy Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice — a leading nonpartisan institute on democracy and justice in the US. “When so many influential business leaders join forces — and take a stand on the vital issues of civic engagement — it sends a compelling message. The Time to Vote coalition’s commitment to give employees time off to vote, especially now when the challenges are so dire, can address one of the biggest barriers to voter participation.”

Many Time to Vote companies have announced a variety of measures to ensure their employees are able to fully participate in the general election — Apple, Coca-Cola, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Levi Strauss, The North Face, Salesforce, Target, Tiffany & Co., Tony’s Chocolonely, Twitter, Uber and Walmart are among the companies doing anything from making Election Day a paid company holiday or offering paid time off on Election Day; and actively promoting initiatives such as early voting and vote-by-mail, particularly in light of the challenges presented by voting amid a global pandemic.

Time to Vote is asking more companies to join the movement. The goal is to have more than 1,000 companies — from a diverse set of industries representing every state — join the movement by November 3.

Businesses interested in joining Time to Vote can visit maketimetovote.org.

Additional corporate efforts to ensure a smooth voting process for employees include:

  • More than 150 companies are participating in the Civic Alliance, a non-partisan corporate-led campaign that aims to identify 250,000 new poll workers to support a safe and secure election process.
  • Over 320 companies, that employ more than 1.4 million employees — including Harvard University, MLB and Wayfair — have joined A Day for Democracy, another non-partisan initiative in which CEOs pledge to give their employees the day off to vote.
  • Kraft Heinz and Target have created websites to guide employees on the voter registration process and to help them learn about candidates, in partnership with the League of Women Voters and the National Association of Manufacturers.

  • Several nonpartisan efforts — such as The Leadership Now Project and Electionday.org (an alliance of 750+ leading companies) — have identified clear, straightforward steps that employers can take.

*Due to age, citizenship status and other factors, not all workers are guaranteed to be eligible US voters.

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