Three Things to Know When Encouraging People and Employees to Vote
Everywhere you turn, you hear a consistent message: go vote! Whether it’s the NFL, large corporate brands, or candidates, everyone is talking about the importance of voting.
You and your business may want to join in and encourage people and employees to vote. But elections are an area full of regulations, so be sure that you don’t accidentally break the law by trying to do something good. Here are three important things to know:
1. Don’t give something of value only when someone votes.
Georgia and federal law do not allow anyone to give something of value to someone else just because that individual voted. What that means for your business is that you can’t give a free donut or burger to everyone who is wearing an “I Voted” sticker. Instead, if you want to give free food or a gift, you have to give it to everyone regardless of whether they voted or not.
2. You can facilitate voting.
Unlike the laws that prohibit giving something to someone for the act of voting, Georgia law allows you to facilitate the act of voting itself. That means you can provide stamps for returning absentee ballots or rides to the polls. But be sure you are helping everyone who asks, not just voters who agree with your preferred candidates or issues—that could turn your help into a contribution to a campaign.
3. Businesses must give employees time off to vote.
Georgia law requires businesses to provide employees with up to two hours off to vote on Election Day if work hours do not otherwise allow the employee to vote. Many businesses have given employees paid days off on Election Day to serve as poll workers, which is always a need across the state.
4. Make your own plan to vote.
While encouraging others to vote, make sure you utilize Georgia’s many options to vote—return your absentee ballot to a county dropbox or vote on Election Day.