Time Off To Vote
a non-partisan, pro-democracy movement
The Time Off to Vote movement, spearheaded by students from across the country, is a nonpartisan effort that targets both the private and public sectors to ensure that every American has the time to vote on Election Day.
We request that our future employers proactively enact Time Off to Vote as company-wide policy. Specifically, companies should provide two hours of paid leave to vote on Election Day. Additionally, employers should actively notify employees of their right to take time off. These policies are in employers’ best interests: 77% of Americans ages 18-44 are “more likely to work for a company that promotes democracy,” while 82% are “more likely to buy that company’s products or services.” Forbes also reports that companies with Time Off to Vote policies have enjoyed increased employee retention (+21%), organizational pride (+18%), and feelings of healthy work-life balance (+18%).
As a student-led coalition, Time Off to Vote is involved in improving voting access on college campuses. In order to maximize student turnout, we encourage conversations that lead to Time Off to Vote policies on campus. This means that professors should avoid scheduling exams on Election Day to ensure that students can focus on voting and preparing to vote. Additionally, colleges and universities should consider making Election Day a campus-wide holiday. Additionally, administrations, professors, and leadership groups should be inspired by the Time Off to Vote movement to inform the student body of election resources and on-campus Time Off to Vote policies.
We advocate for legislative action requiring employers to provide paid Time Off to Vote. Currently, 22 states, red and blue, mandate paid Time Off to Vote, while three others have a Time Off to Vote law but do not require pay. Unfortunately, many states do not penalize companies that do not comply with these laws, meaning employees could potentially face consequences from their employer for taking advantage of their right to take time off on Election Day. Furthermore, these laws often do not require companies to notify employees of their right to take time off.
We support initiatives to move Election Day to the weekend or to make it a national holiday. Most democracies vote on weekends or have a national Election Day holiday. Although our efforts focus foremost on granting employees paid Time Off to Vote, these two other efforts are completely in line with our motives and would ensure that workers are not disadvantaged by the American election system.