Letter from Student Body Presidents
to future employers
Dear Future Employer,
We write to you today as a generation that will soon make up the largest portion of your labor force and an important part of your customer base. On behalf of 242 schools and over 4.8 million students, we ask you to make Time Off to Vote (TOTV) a company priority.
Your firm serves as a testament to the innovation and grit of the American way. However, a second pillar of our nation—the basic right to vote— is far less vigorous and healthy. “The world’s first democracy” trails most developed countries in voter turnout with about half of eligible voters participating in each election.
Adopting a TOTV policy, if you haven’t already, as one way of encouraging a culture of civic participation at your firm will have a positive impact on our democracy. In 2016, 14% of Americans did not vote because of a conflicting work schedule. Over the last two decades, TOTV could have helped one-in-five potential voters. And these numbers can’t measure the cultural shift that would occur if America’s most prominent, well-liked brands endorsed TOTV—making voting “cool.”
It’s also just good business: Young Americans are increasingly considering corporate social responsibility when choosing where to work and buy their products. 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 TOTV have seen increased employee retention (+21%), organizational pride (+18%), and feelings of healthy work-life balance (+18%). As your future employees we will consider TOTV like any other benefit (Healthcare, 401k contribution) when selecting employers. In just a few years, a TOTV policy will be essential for attracting top talent. Not to mention TOTV helps create more thoughtful, engaged citizens.
With these factors in mind, we encourage your company to join Time to Vote. Time to Vote is a nonpartisan movement, led by the business community, to contribute to the culture shift needed to increase voter participation in our country's elections.
As student leaders, at minimum, we recommend a policy granting each employee two hours of paid leave to vote on election day. Employees should also be able to use the policy with as few hurdles as possible. The Harvard Business School reports these programs are highly effective and can be adopted with existing staff and infrastructure at minimal cost.
The business community is uniquely situated to expand voting access for millions of Americans by implementing Time Off to Vote, and we, as future employees, hope you take the lead in encouraging a culture of civic engagement in your firm by prioritizing this policy.
TOTV Coalition of Student Body Presidents
Who should sign the letter?
The goal is to have the letter signed by student government leaders on college campuses whose signatures can represent the entire undergraduate student body. Every student government association is different, and whether yours is an association, a council, or senate, it most likely has a president, chair, or director. Those are the signatories we are looking for, but if anyone else wants to sign as well—a vice president or chair of an appropriate committee—additional signatures are welcome.