In 2016 the voter participation rate in the US was 55% – the lowest since 1996 when it was 53.5% (Source: CNN.com). Voter turnout in the United States ranks among the lowest in the developed world. One of the most common reasons citizens give for not voting is that they are too busy with the demands of life and work. Add to that concerns due to a global pandemic this year and you have a recipe for an even lower turnout in 2020.
Fama Joins #timetovote
We’re proud to announce that Fama, along with other technology companies like Twitter, Google, and Salesforce have joined Time to Vote. Time To Vote is a nonpartisan movement, led by the business community, to contribute to the culture shift needed to increase voter participation in our country’s elections. The coalition, which represents more than six million workers in the U.S., is addressing this challenge by giving employees the time and the tools they need to exercise their right to vote in the November general election.
According to Time to Vote, “the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the accessibility and safety of our elections. It has led to longer voting lines, fewer poll workers and disproportionate barriers to voting for communities of color. Just as no American should have to risk their paycheck to cast their ballot, no one should have to risk their health and safety to participate in our democracy.”
To address this barrier and in order to increase voter participation, Fama is making this year’s Election Day, November 3rd, a paid day off for all of its employees.
Said Freesia Chen, Head of People at Fama Technologies, “we’re proud to partner with companies across the country who have made a commitment to the preservation of the world’s oldest democracy. Apart from voting for our civic leaders there are measures on the ballot that will have an outsized impact on the California tech and biotech industries. Some of these include stem cell research, the gig economy, and consumer privacy. Although Fama is encouraging employees to participate in mail-in voting ahead of the November 3rd election the leadership team decided that offering employees a paid holiday will encourage everyone to cast their vote.”
About Time to Vote
Time to Vote is a nonpartisan, business-led initiative to help ensure employees across America don’t have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck. Participation includes giving employees access to and information about early voting or vote-by-mail options, offering paid time off on Election Day or making it a day without meetings. Time to Vote was founded by Levi Strauss & Co., Patagonia and PayPal ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, when 411 companies representing all 50 states and a variety of industries joined.
For more information, visit maketimetovote.org.