WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) released four initiatives business leaders can take to help achieve an accessible, safe, and credible election this November, endorsed by more than 40 of CED’s Trustees.  Every community must address the public health threats posed by COVID-19 and facilitate safe participation. Business leaders, along with policymakers and election officials, can play a critical role in ensuring that voters do not need to choose between exercising their franchise and protecting their health. 

“Conducting elections during this crisis involves two distinct challenges: redesigning procedures to make voting safe during a pandemic, and ensuring that Americans believe the election was conducted fairly and accurately, with the results reflecting the will of the voters,” said Lori Esposito Murray, President of CED. “Business leaders have important roles to play in achieving those goals.”

As detailed in the pledge, business leaders can take the following actions to assist in the election effort:

  • Communicating new voting rules, options, and procedures to employees and customers, including providing reminders to employees about voting early. Business leaders are often trusted voices in their communities and can play an important civic role as a source of reliable, nonpartisan information.
  • Directly aiding election officials by donating needed infrastructure, technological assistance, supplies, and services. The changing physical requirements in polling places will likely drive new or increased demand for items such as PPE, Plexiglass dividers, and printing services – making the help of willing businesses potentially critical.
  • Making it easier or more affordable for employees to serve as poll workers. Companies can offer a full day of paid leave for employees who will work at polls or, for companies which cannot afford that, unpaid leave.
  • Providing paid leave to facilitate safe voting by reducing crowds at the polls. This should include voting earlier than Election Day and should cover travel to and from secure drop boxes, election offices, or other locations where absentee ballots can be submitted.

For further reading, please see the latest in CED’s series of 2020 Solutions Briefs, 2020 Election: Achieving a Safe, Accessible, and Credible Election during COVID-19, which includes detailed steps that both business leaders and policymakers can take to make voting safe during the election and to reinforce trust in its outcome.

About CED
The Committee for Economic Development is the Public Policy Center of The Conference Board that delivers well-researched analysis, and non-partisan, reasoned solutions in the nation’s interest. www.ced.org

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

SOURCE Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board

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