Tuesday certainly will have the feel of a special day, and a coalition of businesses is underscoring the importance of Election Day by offering paid time off to employees so they can vote.
Time To Vote, a nonpartisan group seeking to increase voter participation in U.S. elections, is backed by more than 700 companies.
“The need has never been greater for businesses to provide their employees dedicated time off to vote,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, one of the three companies that founded Time To Vote in 2018, in a statement this fall and reported in a Fox Business story published on Monday. “No American should have to choose between earning a paycheck and voting.”
A Pew Research survey published in 2017 showed that 14% of potential voters said they didn’t participate in 2016 because they were too busy or have conflicting schedules. For the 2012 election, 19% cited “too busy or conflicting schedules” as a reason for not voting.
Many companies are paying employees for volunteering on Tuesday as poll workers.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a voter initiative group called Power the Polls signed up 350,000 people to volunteer at polling places, surpassing its initial goal of 250,000.
On Sept. 3, the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced they plan to close all facilities on Tuesday. “In the days leading up to the election, we will continue to sponsor non-partisan educational programs to ensure that our players, staff, and families know how to register, how to obtain absentee voting material, and are able to vote on Election Day,” their joint statement read.
Other prominent companies among the Time To Vote coalition include Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Eddie Bauer, Intel and JPMorgan Chase.