While one of many promises of this great nation is the inalienable right to vote, the reality is that not every American shares the same ability to express it. We consider our nation a bastion of democracy, yet when compared with other democratic nations we rank 26th in voter turnout. Poll accessibility varies widely based on who you are, where you live, and where you work.
If you earn an hourly wage or work as a contractor, you may find yourself giving up a portion of your paycheck to head to the polls. This is absolutely unacceptable in a nation that relies on the vote of the people to build a representative government.
We envision a nation where occupation and financial status have no bearing on Americans’ ability to exercise their right to vote, and believe it is the responsibility of employers to be accountable for their effect on voter turnout in the workforce. We’re here to provide you with the tools and resources to talk with your coworkers, start the conversation, and urge your leadership to provide a paid day off to all employees on Election Day.
While chronically low voter turnout in the United States is nothing new, the 2020 election cycle has brought to light disturbing episodes of voter suppression compounded by the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Meanwhile, those heading to the polls are met with closed locations, long lines, equipment failures, and other logistical issues - especially in communities of color. This is particularly burdensome for hourly workers, who are faced with the dilemma of earning wages or voting.
If a voter has to risk their wages, they face nothing less than a poll tax. Many states have no legal requirement for companies to give their workers paid leave to vote in person, and those that do rarely exceed a two hour mandate.