Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz sent the following letter to businesses in the Toledo community urging them to provide workers paid time off on Election Day to vote and volunteer as poll workers. Additionally, Rep. Kaptur and Mayor Kapszukiewicz are asking Toledo businesses to help educate their workers about opportunities to vote, such as communicating early voting options, hours, and locations, as well as opportunities to serve as nonpartisan volunteers at polling places leading up to and during election day.
“Voting is our most sacred right and responsibility in America and businesses large and small play an outsized role in whether their workers are able to cast a ballot,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Today, Mayor Kapszukiewicz and I are calling on businesses in the Toledo community to take steps to provide paid leave to workers interested in voting or serving as nonpartisan election day volunteers. Additionally, we hope business will help educate their employees about opportunities to vote and volunteer leading up to and during November 3rd. Not having paid leave to vote is one of the leading reasons working people don’t participate in elections. Business leaders can play an important role in ensuring their employees’ voices are heard and reflected in their government.”
Full text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Local Business Leader:
We write today seeking your help to ensure a safe, secure, and accessible November election in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the coronavirus struck, we saw the Toledo community come together like never before in recent memory. Neighbors checked in on one another, businesses took steps to protect their customers and employees, and healthcare workers mobilized to care for the sick and dying.
As our country, and most importantly our families, continue to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is understandable why many have not been able to focus on civic engagement. As a result, many people have not had the ability to vote-by-mail or vote early in person. As Election Day swiftly approaches, we are again asking for your help to ensure your workers and those in our community are able to exercise their most sacred right: the right to vote:
There are several steps we’re asking you take to ensure every eligible person is able to do cast a ballot:
- Will you offer your employees paid time off on November 3 to vote or serve as poll workers?
First and foremost, we ask that you please offer paid time off to your employees so they may vote. Not having paid time off to vote is one of the leading reasons Americans don’t participate in elections. By taking this simple step, citizens who would otherwise not participate in the election will have the opportunity to make their voices heard.
Many companies already offer a half or full day off to vote, Starbucks, Walmart, Apple, Coca-Cola, Cisco, PayPal, Uber, and many others. As a reminder, Ohio Revised Code 3599.06 requires all companies provide at least a “reasonable amount of time to vote on Election Day.”
Furthermore, the Lucas County Board of Elections relies on volunteers to run polling locations across the county. This year, we are facing a significant shortage of volunteers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means there will be fewer in-person voting sites available, meaning longer wait times for all in-person voters.
You may be aware that Ohio Revised Code 3599.06 already requires businesses to allow employees to serve as election officials on Election Day. However, we are asking you to go even further by offering paid time off and even recruiting members of your workforce to volunteer at the polls.
- Will you share nonpartisan educational materials with your employees?
Such materials would come from the Lucas County Board of Elections and nonpartisan groups like the League of Women Voters. They would give instructions on various ways to vote (early in-person, early by mail, and Election Day in-person). We would ask you to communicate the early voting options, hours, and location.
Voting is our most sacred right and ensuring its free and fair exercise is our civic duty.