Get Out The Vote
Election Day is just one week away. Have your employees “made a plan?” Has your company? While a historic number of citizens have already cast votes by mail, absentee ballots or in-person early voting, thousands of Americans still plan to adhere to the traditional route of fulfilling their civic duty by going to their local polling places on November 3rd. The hashtag #makeaplan has been trending since the political party conventions this summer with its goal to urge citizens to study up on how, when and where to vote in an election upended by the COVID-10 pandemic. Your company’s management style may be “hands off” when it comes to discussing politics in the workplace – and that’s probably a good thing. But discussing (and facilitating) the act of voting with your company’s employees is a role your leadership absolutely can and should play. Why?
A growing body of research shows that employers rank highly as trusted sources of information. For instance, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, which has followed general trends in institutional trust for the past two decades, found that approximately 63% of Americans reported trusting employers as a source for primary information; more so than trusted traditional media (51%) or social media (28%). A BIPAC study found that 34% of workers find political information from employers to be more credible than that from political parties (32%). Amid the constant barrage of social media “fake news,” legitimate concerns about foreign interference, and downright nasty political ads turning off voters left and right (pun intended!), these statistic are unsurprising.
So, knowing that your role as an employer can positively shape voting rates in the upcoming election, what steps can you take to leverage that trust into action? The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has provided a suggested list of “10 Ways to Help Employees Vote.” SHRM also offers an easy to use election resources webpage suitable for companies to share with employees to help them find the basics they need to know for Election Day, such as confirmation of registration and polling place locations. The US Election Assistance Commission is another good resource to help employees “make their plan” on where to go on November 3rd if they are voting in person.
Lisbeth Lyons is Vice President, Government & Political Affairs, PRINTING United Alliance, the largest, most comprehensive graphic arts trade association in the country. With more than 20 years of experience representing the voice of business on Capitol Hill, Lisbeth advocates for public policies that protect and advance the economic future of the printing and packaging industry. She oversees PRINTING United Alliance’s legislative, political, and grassroots advocacy initiatives, and has served in executive leadership of multiple successful advocacy campaigns, such as Coalition for Paper Options, Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, and Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers Coalition.
Prior to representing PRINTING United Alliance, Lisbeth served in similar roles at Printing Industries of America, US Telecom, and the National Federation of Independent Business. She also spent three years as a K-12 teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, where she was on the forefront of urban education reform in the mid-1990s.
Lisbeth is Midwestern born and bred, having grown up in the St. Louis metropolitan area and attended college at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, before starting her career in Washington, DC. She holds a B.A. in English/Sociology and a professional graduate certificate from The George Washington University School of Political Management. She lives in the historic Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
An avid leader and learner in professional development, Lisbeth was a founding member of the Government Relations Leadership Forum, and is an active participant in organizations such as Council of Manufacturing Associations, Women in Government Relations, and National Association of Business PACs, among others. Lisbeth is often a featured speaker at premier industry conferences; she has spoken to Boards of Directors, corporate executive management teams, and state and regional trade associations across the country from coast to coast.