Informing employees about elections, candidates and the issues that affect them constitutes freedom of speech. Creating a resource that educates about — but does not advocate for — political candidates can help employees understand candidates’ positions on issues that affect the equipment rental industry.
The following steps can help in developing a voter guide that is impartial to any particular candidate:
- Make a list of the local, state and federal issues of greatest concern to you, your business and your employees. Issues such as health care, personal property taxes, permitting and regulations are a good place to start.
- Visit the Government Affairs page on the American Rental Association’s (ARA) website, ARArental.org. Click on “National, State and Local Representatives” and “Find Them.” Fill in the appropriate ZIP code and/or address information to locate specific local, state and federal candidates in your area. Copy and paste candidates’ personal and contact information, as well as their voting records for ARA key votes, into a document. Each candidate should have no more than one page in the guide.
- Decide the format you prefer for your voter guide. Print the information to create a hard-copy version of the voter guide or upload the file to an internal company website for employees to access.
- Use check stuffers, email messages or company newsletters to inform employees about access to the voter guide. If the information is on your website, let employees know where to find it and how to access it.
- Plan a “Get Out the Vote” employee meeting before early voting starts and review the issues of greatest concern to your business. Explain why those issues concern your employees as well. Distribute voting information, including dates and procedures for early and absentee voting, as well as issue summaries and voter guides to help them make informed decisions on Election Day.
Information is key to the voting process. By informing your employees in a nonpartisan manner, you are making a positive impact on the political process.
Alysia Ryan is director of state government affairs for the American Rental Association (ARA), Moline, Ill. She can be reached at 800-334-2177, ext. 271, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.