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 the Vice President, Government and External Affairs, PRINTING United Alliance, having joined Printing Industries in March 2005 as Director of Legislative Affairs. In this position, she is responsible for providing direct advocacy before Congress and the Administration on key industry legislative initiatives, as well as for the strategic direction of the organization's grassroots and external outreach activities. She serves as Treasurer of PrintPAC, the only industry political action committee dedicated solely to electing pro-print lawmakers.
Previously, Lisbeth was Director, Government Affairs at the United States Telecom Association (USTA), representing telecommunications companies ranging from the nation's largest Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to small, rural telephone companies. Lisbeth also served as Director of Grassroots & Legislative Services at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's largest small business advocacy organization.
Lisbeth is a candidate for an M.A. in Political Management at The George Washington University and holds a B.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Prior to working in Washington, D.C., Lisbeth was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools.