Unlike many other democracies, Election Day in the United States are not federal holidays. This means Americans need to take time off work, often without pay, to head to the polls and exercise their fundamental right to vote.
This year, voters nationwide face an additional difficulty: the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, numerous companies have stepped up to help voters in the US overcome barriers and exercise their civic duty during the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 3.
Here are nine ways some of the biggest companies in the nation are supporting American voters this year.
1. Hundreds of companies are giving employees time off to vote.
Cisco, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon — as campaign partners for Global Citizen and HeadCount’s Just Vote — have committed to giving all of their employees time off to vote and volunteer this election.
The nonpartisan Time to Vote movement has also gathered more than 1,300 companies to pledge that their employees will have the time they need to cast their ballots.
For example, Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, is offering its 1.5 million employees three paid hours to vote. Twitter will be giving employees an entire paid day off, and has promised to do the same for all future national election days that fall on a weekday. Other companies that have made similar commitments include Apple, Chobani, Starbucks, and many more.
2. Foot Locker is transforming stores into voter registration sites.
In partnership with nonprofit Rock the Vote, the shoe company is turning more than 2,000 of its US stores into temporary voter registration sites as a way to boost youth voter turnout in November’s election. Foot Locker is also working to increase voter turnout among its employees by offering “flexible voting hours and resources” to store associates on Election Day and during early voting periods.
3. The NBA is converting its stadiums into voting sites.
The National Basketball Association has long been known as the most politically engaged sports league in the US. This year, the NBA is converting empty basketball stadiums into voting sites for the 2020 presidential election, and using advertising slots to promote voter participation. Players have also begun wearing warm-up shirts that read “VOTE” as a constant reminder for American viewers to engage in their civic duty.
4. Lyft and Uber are offering discounted rides on Election Day.
Lyft is working with partners such as When We All Vote and Vote.org to expand its "Ride to Vote" initiative, offering discounted rides on Election Day. The company is also working with nonprofits through its LyftUp program to offer free and discounted rides in communities with limited access to transportation — a known barrier to voting.
In addition to providing its employees with paid time off, Uber has teamed up with TurboVote to help its riders, drivers, and delivery people register to vote and request absentee ballots through its apps. On Election Day, the company will be offering discounted rides to the polls, and delivering snacks to voters waiting to cast a ballot, thanks to a partnership with Pizza to the Polls.
5. Coca-Cola is encouraging civic engagement with its new can design.
Coca-Cola is not only making Election Day a paid holiday for all its full-time, US-based employees, but it's also helping customers vote through its Peace Tea cans. Now through Election Day, people can use their smartphones to scan the “sip and scan” icon on Peace Tea cans and unlock a custom mobile landing page powered by nonprofit Vote.org.
The brand is also distributing a limited run of “Just Peachy” cans that feature the signature Peace Tea hand spelling out the word “VOTE” to social media influencers and journalists.
6. Anheuser-Busch is donating hand sanitizer to polling stations.
Since this year’s presidential election will be taking place in the midst of a pandemic, and potentially at a time when the US experiences a “second wave” of COVID-19 cases, it is essential for people to stay safe as they head to the polls. To protect the health of voters and poll workers, brewing company Anheuser-Busch is producing and donating more than 8 million ounces of hand sanitizer to polling locations across the country for November’s election.
7. AEG Presents is offering the chance to win tickets to a 2021 event.
In partnership with HeadCount, concert promoter AEG Presents is encouraging people to check their registration and register to vote. By doing so, participants have the chance to win two tickets to an AEG Presents event next year. Various AEG brands and festivals like the Bowery Presents, Coachella, and Stagecoach are also participating in the campaign.
8. Old Navy, Target, and more are paying employees to work the polls.
Voter rights organizations have been warning that there may be a poll worker shortage this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the nonpartisan Civic Alliance announced that more than 60 of its member companies will work to encourage employees and consumers to serve as poll workers on Nov. 3.
Civic Alliance member Old Navy announced that its employees will receive a day’s worth of pay if they sign up to work the polls. Target, Warby Parker, and Compass Coffee will also give workers paid time off to serve as election workers.
9. Social media companies are debuting voter information hubs.
Especially for younger generations, social media is a key avenue for news and information. Tech giants Facebook and Twitter have both launched voter information hubs for the US election on their platforms to provide tools, resources, and announcements to the American public. Snapchat created a Voter Registration Mini, which has registered more than a million people so far, as well as a Voter Guide that informs users on topics like vote-by-mail.
Global Citizen and HeadCount have teamed up to launch Just Vote, a campaign mobilizing young Americans to register to vote ahead of the 2020 election and beyond. As part of the campaign, your favorite artists and entertainers are offering exclusive experiences, performances, and memorabilia — and they can only be unlocked once eligible voters check their voter registration status. Learn more about Just Vote and how you can take action here.