Time to Vote
Want to vote on Tuesday, but don’t think you’ll have the time? Think again — thirty states have laws giving workers the right to take time off to vote.
According to the Census Bureau, the number one reason why registered voters did not vote in the last two presidential elections was because they could not get time off from work. That’s nearly 4 million registered voters who did not have time to vote in the 2000 election where the presidential race was decided by 537 votes. The time crunch especially keeps women, minority and low wage workers who have the most rigid work schedules and the least amount of control over their time from voting.The good news is that while there are many things that could go wrong that is out of our control this Election Day, this is a problem that ordinary citizens can fix. Thirty states have laws giving workers the right to take time off to vote. For example, Illinois voters are entitled to two hours leave, Minnesota voters can take election morning off to vote, and Ohio voters cannot be fired or penalized for taking a reasonable amount of time off to vote.
p>Here’s a summary of voter leave laws for those states that have them:
The following states have laws giving employees the right to take time off from work to vote. Many states require employees to give employers notice about taking leave before Election Day and some states require employees to provide employers with proof of voting. In addition, while employers cannot prevent employees from voting, most states give employers the right to specify the time during the day that leave can be taken.NOTE: This information is for background purposes only. Readers should seek legal advice before taking any specific action.