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It’s Time to Vote!

Jan 28, 2020

Did you know that voter turnout in the U.S. is one of the lowest in the developed world? Shocking!!! Voting is the lifeblood of a democracy. It’s a hard-won right, a weighty responsibility and an incredible privilege that too often goes unclaimed in America. The more people who feel empowered to use their voice, the stronger this country will be. One of the most common reasons people give for not voting is that they’re too busy with the demands of work and life. Workers shouldn’t have to choose between earning a paycheck and voting.

To address this barrier and increase voter participation, a diverse coalition of companies came together in the summer of 2018 to launch Time to Vote. Timberland was one of those companies. The companies signing on made a commitment to ensure their employees had a work schedule that allowed them time to vote in that year’s midterm elections. In 2018, more than half of U.S. eligible voters cast a ballot, the highest turnout rate for a midterm election in four decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Today, we are reigniting the efforts of Time to Vote, building on our past results and working to engage even more employers in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.

Time to Vote is a nonpartisan effort that demonstrates the power of what the business community can achieve when it works to address one of the most significant issues of our time. Together, we can have an even greater impact.

Time to Vote Charter Statement:

Time to Vote is a business-led initiative that ensures employees across America don’t have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck. It is:

Not consumer facing (this is a business-to-business initiative)
Unaffiliated with any one specific NGO or other independent party
Non-prescriptive (no “one approach fits all”)
Not policy driven, but meant to shift the culture
Non-issue specific

The only commitment asked is for CEO’s to commit that they will make the time for employees to vote – how you do that is up to your organization. This can include providing voting information to employees; access to early voting or vote-by-mail options; declaring voting days as “no-meetings days”; and/or offering paid time off on Election Day – from a full day to a few hours, or a flex day. There is no “one approach fits all” here. We recognize that employers have their own restrictions and company guidelines that may dictate how they implement Time to Vote. Participants have the flexibility to implement the initiative as they best see fit for their employees – the key is making the time for employees, communicating it broadly, and encouraging them to take the Time to Vote!

Time to Vote is for companies that want to contribute to the culture shift needed to increase voter participation in our country’s elections. I call on all NHBSR member companies to consider joining this important movement. Currently there are 400+ companies that have signed on to this commitment. Our goal is to have more than 1,000 companies commit to Time to Vote. To learn more and sign up, visit

You can also join the Time to Vote Webinar on February 6 to learn more and find out how to get involved.

By: Colleen Vien, Sustainability Director of Timberland and NHBSR Board Member