Vote 2012: Company policy can encourage voting
08/30/2012

While the polls in many districts will be open as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6, making sure your employees know they have ample opportunity to cast their ballots is paramount to a successful Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaign.

Many states have laws requiring employers to allow their employees time off for voting. State regulations differ, however, so please visit the “Get Out the Vote” page on the American Rental Association website, ARArental.org, to read the rules that apply to your state and ensure your company policies are in compliance with state laws.

Because early voting is becoming easier and is often perceived as more convenient than going to the polls in person, be sure to get your voting messages out early to your employees and others who need to be informed. Remember that while you cannot tell your employees how to vote, you are encouraged to educate them about the issues that can affect them, their families and their industry. This is the time to remind employees about:

  • The issues important to the equipment rental industry and where candidates stand on those issues.
  • What they need to bring to the polls in order to vote on Nov. 6, such as identification, registration card or other required documentation in your area.
  • Where their voting facility is located.
  • How and where to register if they have not already.
  • How, where and when to obtain an absentee ballot if they do not plan to vote in person.

“People may think their votes don’t matter but they do,” says Michael Burris, Bledsoe’s Rental in Kansas City, Mo., who was recently running his own political campaign for office in Missouri. “Citizens need to inform themselves and make their voices heard. This is their opportunity to hold political candidates accountable for their decisions and actions.”

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 alysia.ryan@ararental.org.