Old Navy to pay employees to work election polls

The retailer joins the effort to get out the vote

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Signage for an Old Navy store stands at the entrance to a store in Times Square, March 1, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

This week Old Navy has announced that it plans to pay its employees to work at the polls during November’s presidential election. 

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Tuesday, the retailer announced it had partnered with Power the Polls, which is described as “a first-of-its-kind initiative to recruit poll workers to ensure a safe, fair election for all voters.” 

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“BIG NEWS! We’re partnering with Power the Polls to empower our 50,000 employees with paid time off to serve as poll workers this Election Day,” read the caption for the announcement on Facebook.

Old Navy also said employees would be offered up to 3 paid hours off to vote,” because the company understands, “it’s so important that we all can vote (and that we all do vote!)”

BIG NEWS!We’re partnering with Power the Polls to empower our 50,000 employees with paid time off to serve as poll…

Posted by Old Navy on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

“This is a critical moment. America is in the midst of a nationwide poll worker shortage,” reads the official website created for this initiative. “Most poll workers are over the age of 60 and, in the era of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, fewer are signing up for the job.”

Fayetteville State University students get off a Black Votes Matter bus at Smith Recreation Center on March 3, 2020 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Photo by Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

“The consequences have already been felt in several recent primaries, where poll worker shortages led to long lines and voter disenfranchisement. For example, 95% of past poll workers in Anchorage, Alaska, declined to work the polls this year (source) and the state of Kentucky consolidated in-person voting in each county to a single polling place during the primary due to poll worker recruitment concerns.”

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“Power the Polls will be a part of the solution by addressing the need for low-risk and diverse poll workers who can staff in-person voting locations during early voting and on Election Day,” it concludes.

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