Only 36 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest since World War II. As President Obama reminded us, "We are the only advanced democracy that makes it deliberately difficult for people to vote.”
Unlike many countries, election day is not a federal holiday in the US. Worse, there isn’t even a federal law requiring employers to allow employees time off to vote! While the majority of states have some protection for employees, the laws vary by state and often defer to employers.
But there’s good news--a growing number of companies are voluntarily encouraging their employees to vote by making Tuesday, November 6th a company holiday. Not surprising, Patagonia is one company blazing this trail. As CEO Rose Marcario wrote, “no American should have to choose between a paycheck and fulfilling his or her duty as a citizen.” But Patagonia is not alone, here are some of the many companies who joining this movement:
All-of-us must work for democracy by convincing our employers to make election day a holiday.
1 Get educated on what your state’s laws are here.
2 If you work for a company, ask your employer to make election day a company holiday and share these resources from electionday.org with your HR department/company leadership.
3 If your company isn’t willing to give employees election day off, don’t stop there. Convince your company to encourage employees to take time to vote on election day.