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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on October 8, and has valuable civic engagement resources pertinent to the U.S. election.
At Salesforce, we believe that business is the greatest platform for change, and voting and civic engagement are some of the most important avenues for change. This year, in the face of multiple crises, participation in the upcoming election is just one of the ways we, as citizens, can play an active role in informing the decisions and solutions that can address those crises.
The United States has one of the lowest voter turnout percentages among developed nations, with just 56 percent of Americans exercising their right to vote in the 2016 presidential election. That’s why this year, we declared all national federal elections as paid holidays for our employees, so that no employee will have to choose between working or voting on or before Election Day.
We know COVID-19 has introduced new complications to the election process this year. In the 2018 general election, 58 percent of poll workers were 61 or older, and over a quarter of them were 71 or older. With the risks from getting COVID-19 higher for these age groups, it’s more important than ever that younger generations have the opportunity to step up. Our employees can also use Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to serve their communities as non-partisan poll workers.
And civic responsibility isn’t just limited to Election Day.
In 2018, we created civic engagement learning content on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, to educate our employees about the government and how to be civically engaged in their personal capacity. This past year, we’ve had more and more conversations with our customers and partners about how to engage their employees. As a result of these conversations, we created the new Civic Engagement in the US module on Trailhead. It outlines Salesforce’s approach to civic engagement, which includes:
- Voter Registration: Since 2016, we’ve partnered with non-partisan TurboVote, an application that makes voting easy. When an individual signs up via TurboVote, they are notified of all their upcoming elections, local and national, via email or text message. Utilizing TurboVote helps ensure that employees across the country are consistently engaged in upcoming elections.
- Candidate Forums: We know voters educated on the issues are more likely to participate. For the past few years, we brought elected officials and policy makers into our offices to discuss issues of importance to our employees. With most of our employees now working remotely, we’ve made this speaker series virtual to ensure our employees still have access to the candidates on their ballots.
All of these efforts are part of our non-partisan commitment to acknowledge the electoral process in all countries. We want to encourage every eligible employee to vote for the candidates and policies of their choosing, according to their own personal views and opinions. Why and how you vote is deeply personal, but it is critically important that you make your voice heard. So this election season, get registered and get out the vote.