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Time-Off for Democracy Policies

WomenVote PA launched Time-Off for Democracy during 2008 to encourage all employers to consider adopting policies that would allow flexible work schedules on Election Day. Time-Off at the beginning or end of the day can help employees, especially those with family obligations, to get to the polls and vote on Election Day.  Because women still shoulder the majority of the responsibility as caregivers, especially of children, many mothers find it difficult to juggle work, family duties, children’s schedules, and sometimes it seems impossible to fit in time to vote on Election Day. It is all too easy to believe that one vote really doesn’t matter -- but it does!

By adopting such policies, employers are leading by example in showing how important it is to be civically engaged in our communities and to participate in our democracy.  The Committee of Seventy, Womens Way, and many other businesses and organizations have joined in this effort. Get PDF version of Time-Off for Democracy Policy.

Facts

  • Nationally only 60% of eligible voters cast their ballots during Presidential Elections
  • Roughly 40% of eligible voters turnout for mid-term elections
  • Pennsylvania is one of seven states where women are voting at lower rates than men during mid-term elections
  • In Pennsylvania there were 981,701 single females who did not register to vote in 2006
  • Of those women who were registered, 516,221 of them (unmarried women) decided not to vote
  • Pennsylvania ranks 27th among states in terms of voter turnout, and out of the 26 states with higher voter turnout, 10 of them have either mail-in ballots or same day voter registration

If your business or organization is interested in creating Time-Off for Democracy in the workplace, please consider adding any of the following components to your personnel policies. Or feel free to adjust it according to your needs.  For more information on joining our Time-Off for Democracy initiative, call Barbara DiTullio at 215-928-9801 x5767 or send an email to bditullio@womenvotepa.org.

The Time-Off for Democracy Policy

  1. On the day of a federal, state, or local election, an employee eligible to vote in that election may take up to two hours off work, without loss of pay, in order to vote.  The time off may be limited to the hours at the beginning or end of the workday, and may require the employee to produce proof of voting to receive pay for that time off.  Employees wishing to participate in this policy should receive permission to do so from their supervisor.  Supervisors should do all that they can to permit this request.
  2. After giving at least seven (7) days notice, and with approval of their supervisor, employees may take off the entire day, without pay, on the day of a federal, state, or local election in order to serve as an election officer or poll watcher, or to campaign for any candidate or ballot measure.
  3. During the 14 days before every statewide election, employees will be notified through postings and/or memorandums of the Time-Off on Election Day policy for employees.