Private Sector Steps Up to Help With In-Person Voting
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Mail-in voting and the Postal Service may be getting most of the media attention, but in many areas, the biggest worry is how to handle in-person voting. According to the New York Times, more than 60 million votes will be cast in person this year – either on Election Day or in early voting.
Handling the crush of people voting in a presidential year is always a concern. But America has never had to handle both a pandemic and big election at the same time:
The stuffy church basements and senior-living centers that were once reliable voting sites are now unusable. The tolerance for long lines has shrunk drastically. Where administrators used to fret about the occasional equipment breakdowns and ballot shortages, they must worry now about backup plans if a coronavirus outbreak shutters a polling site or sidelines the poll workers who have staffed it.
Manning the polls has long been a concern for local election boards. It’s worse this year because of the coronavirus. That’s prompted the private sector to get involved in recruiting workers, and providing safe polling locations:
Businesses are playing an increasing role. The clothing chain Old Navy said this week that it would give a paid day off to any of its 50,000 employees who work at the polls. Hundreds of companies, from The Coca-Cola Company to Mailchimp to Patagonia, have made Election Day a paid holiday or given employees time off to vote or to perform election work, and 23 states require companies to grant time off to vote.
Professional sports teams in Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere have offered up their arenas for voting and other election purposes; their size making for a much safer location amid coronavirus than a middle school basement.
Image Credit: Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)