Civic participation is a cornerstone of democracy. As the elections approach, business leaders should work to maximize participation in the process. There are a few easy and specific actions that business leaders can take to encourage specific participation.
Download The Civic Engagement Toolkit >
Paid Time Off To Vote
Provide employees time to vote. In the past companies have taken action to provide employees time off to vote. Some companies have made Election Day a company holiday, and others have made it known to all employees (and their managers) that they will be paid and won't be penalized for taking time to vote early or on Election Day. To make it easier for people to find the time to vote, some organizations make Election Day a “no meeting day.”
Whatever you decide, make sure the policy is well-known within the company and people know who to ask if they have questions. (See this sample voting leave policy from SHRM.)
Business Success Story
The Time to Vote initiative, started by the CEO of Patagonia, secured pledges from 2,000 companies to ensure “employees have a work schedule that allows them to vote or, if applicable, resources for mail-in ballots.”
This year the election will be on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Host Voter Registration Drives
Voter registration is the first step to voting in Wisconsin. One of the best ways to help employees is to host events where they can register to vote. Civic engagement groups in your community can typically provide resources and expertise to help employees
become registered voters. For many first time or infrequent voters, having someone to help them register in-person can make all of the difference.
In Wisconsin, individuals can register to vote for the November general election online or by mail until October 14 or then again on Election Day. We encourage you to consider hosting voter registration drives between mid-August and early October.
Wisconsin Business Leaders for Democracy can connect you with non-partisan organizations who can work with your company to organize and host voter registration drives.
Provide Information On Voter Education and Voter Registration
We recommend you leverage your internal websites and email communication channels to provide reminders to employees on voter registration, information on polling locations and how to vote. Wisconsin Business Leaders for Democracy can provide a timeline and sample emails for these purposes.
Give paid time off to be poll workers
Poll workers are crucial to fair and accessible elections. One of the key ways businesses can support local election officials is by providing paid time off to work at the polls. Historically, municipalities have faced challenges when recruiting poll workers and
with the majority of poll workers over the age of 60, the pandemic has amplified the need for poll workers.
The importance of poll workers cannot be understated. When local election officials have enough poll workers it can reduce lines, shorten the amount of time people wait to vote, and improve the overall voter experience
In Wisconsin, poll workers can sign up to work anywhere in the county they live in.Individuals can sign up to be a poll worker here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/BecomePollWorker
If you are interested in participating in these efforts or having Wisconsin Business Leaders for Democracy follow-up, please fill out the following survey: