On behalf of clothes retailer Patagonia, PR representative J.J. Huggins shares much-needed counsel on how companies can educate voters and encourage greater civic participation.
As people around the country call for racial justice and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the accessibility and safety of our elections, we’re seeing a surge of interest in Time to Vote. In recent primaries, we have seen longer voting lines, fewer poll workers and disproportionate barriers to voting for communities of color. No American should have to risk their paycheck or their health to cast their ballot.
- We now have 540 companies enrolled in Time to Vote. But we need your help to reach our goal of recruiting 1,000 companies by Nov. 3. If you know any other companies who should join Time to Vote, please send them the link to sign up. For examples of what to say when pitching other companies, check out our Recruiting Toolkit.
- We have received some good press recently: New York Times Columnist Sendhil Mullainathan mentioned Time to Vote in a piece about how to support racial justice, companies need to provide paid time off for employees to vote. Axios and The Daily Beast also included Time to Vote in stories about how companies are bolstering voting efforts.
- There is an opportunity to place more earned media stories to promote Time to Vote among the business community. We have a media pitching toolkit to help you reach out to your press contacts in your markets.
- America is in the midst of a nationwide poll worker shortage, and the consequences have already been felt in recent primaries with reduced polling locations, long lines, and voters waiting in line for several hours. Most poll workers are over the age of 60, and in the era of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, fewer are signing up for the job. In-person polling locations will require at least a million workers and volunteers, and there are less than 100 days to recruit and train them to make sure polls are appropriately staffed. Time to Vote is partnering with Power the Polls to get young, healthy employees who feel comfortable joining this cause to get trained and signed up to volunteer at the polls.
- If you’re looking for more ways to engage your employees, we have updated the Resources page of maketimetovote.org. We include links to help your employees register to vote, learn about early voting and voting by mail in their states, as well as information about voter ID and voting from abroad. Please note, you need to be logged in to maketimetovote.org view the page. If you can’t log in, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
- We also encourage you to join the Civic Alliance. The Civic Alliance is a non-partisan group of businesses working together to build a future where everyone participates in shaping our country.
Lastly, this is separate from Time to Vote, but in case you’re interested: The Brennan Center is hosting a webinar on July 8 at 11am PT/ 2pm ET to provide an overview of the work being done to ensure this fall’s election is free, fair, safe and equitable, as well as what businesses can do to support the election. To RSVP, please email Julia Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.