People need time to vote. This has never been truer than with the upcoming 2020 elections, which are anticipated to face unique challenges. The pandemic may mean fewer people are willing and able to come work the polls, resulting in longer wait times. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by voter suppression, resulting in fewer polling stations and more difficult circumstances to cast in-person votes. And no one should have to choose between casting a vote and safeguarding their livelihood.
This time in history gives business leaders a unique opportunity, as it’s not often that offering your people a bit of time during one, single workday can produce such a chance to make a difference. It’s the reason why Point B is joining the ‘Time to Vote’ movement, a business-led, nonpartisan coalition of more than 700 companies that aims to increase voter participation in the U.S. elections. Point B has cancelled all company meetings on November 3, 2020 and is encouraging all our people to find the tools and take the time they need to vote in the general election.
Voter turnout in the U.S. is one of the lowest in the developed world, and employees often don’t take the time to vote due to work demands. We must do better than making our people choose between work and voting. As leaders, we need to be advocates for voter access and participation. Companies involved in ‘Time to Vote’ support the right to vote in a variety of ways, depending on the organization, including giving employees access to information about early voting or vote-by-mail options, offering paid time off on election day or making it a day without meetings.
I encourage all my fellow business leaders to make a commitment. Give your people the tools and time they need to make their voices heard. Listen to challenges they may be having and then do everything you can to make voting as easy and convenient as possible. Let’s do the very best we can to help our people make a difference.