Election Day Off
Author: Jeffrey Harkness - Principal
We hear all the time about low voter turnout, especially among young people, but it’s important to take a step back and inquire: why?
A Pew Research Center report from 2014 found that two-thirds of a group of registered voters didn’t vote due to a lack of time, and a majority of those people couldn’t vote because they had schedule conflicts with work or school. This made up an incredible 35% of the voters surveyed. This simple statistic points to a larger issue wherein there are a variety of roadblocks in place that prevent people from voting.
The U.S. is one of the few democracies that make individuals register themselves, and within this, many states make it hard to qualify to register. States with more convenient registration are shown to have higher turnouts. As individuals, we can call our congressman, protest, or share our voice on the topic but the result of such actions are often invisible.
That’s why Hark is taking steps to target one of the reasons for low turnout. We are giving all of our employees paid election day off, November 3rd, to vote or participate in democracy in other ways. In lieu of a national holiday on election day, we encourage other businesses to do the same. We are just one of many companies that place value on voting. A growing list of companies, including Patagonia, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, and Verizon, give employees paid time off on Election Day. Some companies are also encouraging employees to work polls since the typical elderly poll workers are staying home.
This is just the start of how we participate in our democracy. Giving our employees time off is not a holistic solution but it still makes steps towards a future we can all believe in. If you run a business, we encourage you to also take the #electiondayholiday pledge and give your employees paid time off.
Want to learn more about how Hark can help?