Increasing Election Turnout: One Ridiculously Practical Strategy

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Here’s one way that you–yes, you–can help improve election turnout numbers, and it’s one you probably haven’t considered before.

Keep in mind that only 36.4% of eligible voters voted in the 2014 midterm election, which was the lowest for over 70 years.

And remember, one of the top 8 reasons why people said they don’t vote is that they are too busy or have a conflicting schedule.

A solution:  What we can do is convince the company we work for to make Election Day a holiday. Now, before you roll your eyes and say “Yeah, right. Like they’d do that,” know that there are several companies who have recently signed on to doing exactly this. And, there are great options short of having the company shut down that would make things a LOT easier for employees to vote on Election Day.

What it could mean for your company to encourage people to vote:
✦ a full day off
✦ a half day off
✦ a couple of paid hours off
✦ a flex day
✦ commit to having no internal meetings that day
✦ adding Election Day to the internal company calendar
✦ send a few reminders to employees to vote

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 10.15.46 PM

Graphic from electionday.org

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more companies to do this?

It won’t happen, though, unless employees start asking their companies to consider it. Encouraging people to vote is nonpartisan. Asking for time to vote is nonpartisan.

What you need to do is go talk to your HR department. You can give them the resources at ElectionDay.org as a start. Walk them through the many ways your company could encourage people to vote this November.

Many states have laws that protect voters who want time to vote — your HR person should know what they are. Ask them for that information. Although you should never get legal advice from the internet, here’s a handy resource to get some sense of what the laws may be in your state.

Each one of us can ask our organizations to consider this. You can be the catalyst that sparks an uptick in votes cast this November. Isn’t it worth it to ask?

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Categories: Explainers

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3 replies

  1. I agree with you. However, I think we should go one step further and make every election day a federal holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be good for a lot of people, and would certainly convey the importance of voting to our democracy. But there is the argument that folks in retail, restaurants, etc. still wouldn’t get that day off.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is that argument, though I am actually a bit more radical than most in terms of my mindset here. I actually think that we should have something like for old blue laws (where nobody except emergency Ripley were allowed to go go work in particular towns on a Sunday), except that those blue laws should be for election day.

        Liked by 1 person

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