Next time you’re waiting for a Foot Locker store associate to retrieve a pair of sneakers in your size from the back room, you can now check your registration status, sign up to vote, and sign up to receive election reminders.
The shoe company is turning its more than 2,000 stores across multiple brands in the United States into temporary voter registration sites through a partnership with the nonprofit Rock the Vote, as a way to boost youth voter turnout in the federal election on Nov. 3.
The announcement is part of a wave of companies seeking to bring attention to the election and increase civic engagement overall — particularly among young people.
"In a year marked with such uncertainty, amid a pandemic and social unrest, our country's future — and our collective role in shaping it — has never been more important," said Richard Johnson, the chairman and CEO of Foot Locker, Inc., in a press release.
He added: "At Foot Locker, our mission is to inspire and empower youth culture, so partnering with Rock the Vote was a natural fit to help educate and amplify the voices of today's youth."
US citizens can check their registration status and ultimately register to vote by visiting Foot Locker’s website. Store employees will also be able to guide customers in-store through the registration process using Rock the Vote’s protocols.
The voter registration powerhouse has seen surging registration numbers this year. Through the end of August, the nonprofit registered 870,000 new voters in 2020, compared to 826,000 voters in the entirety of 2018, the last election cycle, the press release states.
This year has also dwarfed registration numbers for the last presidential election in 2016, when Rock the Vote registered 550,000 voters.
The increased turnout reflects the enormous Get Out the Vote efforts by organizations such as Rock the Vote and HeadCount. Global Citizen has teamed up with HeadCount to encourage young people to check their registration status and register to vote ahead of the election. If you're based in the US, you can check your status here.
Voter registration drives often focus on young people because of the historically low turnout rates among the nation’s youth. In fact, the voter turnout rate for Americans below the age of 30 is 38% lower than that of Americans over the age of 60. The country has one of the lowest youth voter turnout rates in the world.
Foot Locker is also making an effort to boost voter turnout among its employees. The company is offering “flexible voting hours and resources” to store associates to help them make it to the polls on election day and during early voting periods.
"At Foot Locker, Inc., we believe in the power of our people – more than 30,000 store and corporate team members across the country," Frank Bracken, executive vice president and CEO Foot Locker North America, said in the press release.
He added: "Now, more than ever, we are committed to uplifting and empowering our team by offering flexible voting hours and resources to encourage them to exercise their right to vote, and together, make a significant impact at the polls."
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.