Whoever you’re voting for this year, your vote is your voice. And you have a right to be heard!
On Election Day here at Badger, we wear our “I Voted” stickers like Badger Badges of Honor. We firmly believe that employers can play a key role in the democratic process, because no one should have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck. And as a small business ourselves, we have a vital responsibility—and an opportunity—to ensure our employees are empowered to support the elections.
So how do we support our employees?
Here at Badger, we give our employees paid time off every year to vote, volunteer, or otherwise participate in the elections. And for many of them, volunteering at the polls is a yearly tradition. We always encourage employees to find their own way of helping out on Election Day, whether that’s working at the polls, offering a neighbor a ride, or just reminding friends and family to cast their votes.
To maintain a nonpartisan stance without compromising on our company values, we’ve created a values-aligned vetting system to determine who can visit Badger. That means any political candidates are welcome to visit our company, as long as they meet our values criteria:
- An environmental policy focused on reducing GHGs and protecting natural resources and wildlife. (We look to the League of Conservation Voters’ Scorecard and Center for American Progress’ list of climate deniers for guidance!)
- A social policy reflective of equality and economic justice.
- Specific support for raising the state/federal minimum wage and expanding parental leave policies.
What about COVID-19?
To support our employees and our wider community throughout COVID-19, we’ve partnered with Business for America to promote its Operation Vote Safe campaign. Because voting is essential, yes; but that definitely doesn’t mean you should feel unsafe casting your ballot.
So on that note, here are a few safety guidelines to follow if you’re planning to vote in person, whether you’re voting in NH or elsewhere:
- Wear your mask. We can’t say it enough!
- Sanitize your hands before… and after… and while… you vote.
- Honor social distancing guidelines. Handshakes, no. Smiles, yes.
- Follow instructions from volunteers. They know what they’re talking about.
- You can even BYOP (bring your own pen)!
And if you feel uneasy voting in person, any New Hampshire voter can apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail. If your affidavit envelope doesn’t list COVID-19 as a reason for voting absentee, just select the “Disability” option. Still have questions? Check out this awesome voter registration map with all the polling information specific to your state.
What can my company do?
One of the most common reasons people don’t vote is because they’re just too busy with all the demands of work and life. That’s where the #TimeToVote campaign comes in. Organized by a diverse coalition of businesses, the nonpartisan movement aims to increase voter turnout by raising awareness about the steps employers can take to allow time for their employees to vote—like paid time off, a day without meetings, or resources for mail-in ballots and early voting.
We’ve been supporters of the Time to Vote movement since it launched in 2018. Now, over 700 businesses have joined, including Madewell, Levi Strauss & Co., KIND Healthy Snacks, and many more! And we’re continually inspired by Patagonia, which is shutting down all US-based operations for the day. If your company is interested in joining the campaign, visit MakeTimeToVote.org.
Whether you’re just one employee, a small business, or a large company, you have an essential role to play in this election. We encourage you to spend some time thinking about your own reasons for voting this year. Do you vote to protect the environment? Do you vote to honor the rights of a friend or family member? Do you vote to create a better world for your children?
On November 3rd, go vote. Vote with love. Vote with pride. Together, we can keep our democracy vibrant and strong!
Why is voting important to you? Tell us in the comments!