Optimists at the Polls
At Online Optimism, we see the importance of getting U.S. citizens out to vote at the polls. Our Summer 2020 Specialists even collaborated to create a New Orleans’ Educated Voters Guide! While it’s always important to vote, this year is especially important. In November, we will go to the polls for the presidential election and the openings of seats and proposed laws at federal, state, and municipal levels. In line with Bettering Our Community, Online Optimism has created new policies to ensure our team can make it to the polls this November 3rd.
Go and Vote!
As mentioned in our Specialists’ voting guide, roughly four out of ten eligible voters did not participate in the 2016 presidential election. There are many reasons why Americans do not get to the polls, one being that they cannot get the time off from work to go and vote. Online Optimism already offers employees a flexible schedule, with options to work 7am-3pm, 8am-4pm, 9am-5pm, or 10am-6pm. They may also work from 8am-5pm and take a 2-hour lunch. To use this flexibility to its fullest, we are also strongly encouraging Optimists to not schedule meetings on Election Day.
Luckily, Louisiana also offers Early Voting October 16th-27th, and we will be sending reminders on early voting to our employees throughout October. It’s a great alternative to voting on Election Day, especially this year. With a shortage of poll workers due to coronavirus, there is a possibility of fewer polling places and larger crowds waiting to vote.
As a pledge to continue empowering our team to vote, we have joined other companies that have committed to Time To Vote.
Become a Poll Worker!
The shortage of poll workers brings us to our new policy: encouraging Optimists to sign up and become a poll worker. Any team member that volunteers to work the polls will receive a paid day off for their civic engagement.
Historically, senior citizens have made up most poll working teams, but due to coronavirus and its danger to this demographic, many of the usual poll workers stepped down. It is of utmost importance that we encourage younger, low-risk citizens to help out. If locations do not have enough volunteers, poll worker shortages can lead to fewer polling places, long lines, and, in a pandemic, potential health risks for voters.
I want to get involved!
That’s wonderful! Before signing up, please realize that being a poll worker isn’t easy; you are required to show up as early as 5:30am, and your shift could last 12-14 hours. On a positive note, personal protective equipment will be provided to all poll workers, and you may be paid for your work (this varies by location).
If you’re ready to sign up and begin the process, visit Power the Polls as soon as possible to sign up within your state. It takes less than a minute to register, and someone local will contact you shortly after to get the process started.
We’ll see you at the polls!