Most Companies Encourage Their Employees? to Take Part in the Voting Process

SEATTLE, WA (Nov. 4, 2008) – Not feeling very civic minded come voting day? Your employer might just provide the nudge you need, suggests a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). Giving employees the chance to vote is often mandated by state laws, but many employers go beyond legal requirements to encourage workers to cast their ballots.

Among organizations that have operations in more than one state or region, only 26% said their policies vary according to the state, while a majority (57%) “have a voting policy in place that meets all or most state requirements.” In other words, many companies have a policy that is flexible enough to meet the requirements of a variety of different locales.

Over a third of respondents (38%) provide paid time off for a trip to the polls. Beyond that, almost half (47%) of polled companies encourage their workforce to participate. Among the methods of encouragement cited are e-mail reminders about voting, workplace posting of voting information and the use of company intranets as a reminder.

“Employers often have a sense of civic duty as well,” notes Jay Jamrog, senior vice president of research at i4cp. “They sometimes go above and beyond the requirements of state laws, encouraging their workers to engage in the political process.”

In general, companies do not require workers to apply for leave in order to vote, with more than 61% reporting that pre-arrangement is not needed. Most employers (73%) also don’t dictate the time of day they permit workers to go to the polls. The largest group of respondents – 44% – allows workers up to two hours off for voting purposes. Twenty-one percent, however, admitted that they allow no time off to vote, which likely indicates that they expect their employees to vote either before or after work. In areas where mail-in voting is an option, a surprising 42% allow employees to utilize the company’s in-house mailing system to exercise their voting right.

When it comes to legal requirements concerning time off for voting, it appears that companies need to do their research, according to the study. While 44% of respondents said there are laws in the states or regions where they conduct business that require employers to provide their workforce with time off, almost two in 10 respondents admitted that they don’t know what the legalities are.

The Taking the Pulse: Voting Policy survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with, in October 2008. There were a total of 297 respondents. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.

About i4cp, inc.

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Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.