Old Navy Offers to Pay Employees to Volunteer to Be Poll Workers on Election Day

It’s crunch time for the 2020 Presidential election, and between Donald Trump and Kanye West, there’s no telling what kind of tricks would be pulled between now and then.

Sadly, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is predicted to impact polls because Senior retirees usually volunteer to be poll workers but they are also at high-risk to contract COVID-19. So understandably, many of them are opting to social distance in their homes.

Power the Polls has a goal to recruit 250,000 poll workers ahead of the November 3rd election. The organization is “a first-of-its-kind, nonpartisan initiative to recruit a new wave of poll workers, especially among younger, more diverse populations that have not been historically represented in these roles,” according to a statement.

Old Navy announced their support to ensure that voting goes as efficiently and safely as possible. The fashion brand plans to compensate their employees who volunteer at the polls.

As per Vogue

Old Navy is partnering with Civic Alliance and Power the Polls to hopefully bridge the gap and decrease some of the deficit of poll workers. (It is partnering specifically with Power the Polls to facilitate the application and training process for its employees to work the polls.) It’s a powerful move, all things considered: Old Navy has 50,000-plus employees across more than 1,000 stores, which is a large pool of people who would not have to worry about losing pay in order to be a poll worker. And, according to a release from the retailer, 64% of Old Navy field employees are between 18 and 29 years old, which historically “is the segment of the population with the lowest voter turnout.” This means that Old Navy’s new incentive not only boosts the number of poll workers but also potentially boosts the odds of more young people voting as well; it’s certainly easier to cast a ballot if you’re already working the station. It’s something many other larger retailers should be thinking about as well.

This was a bold move for the company to make and hopefully it serves as a model for other big companies.

Civic Alliance, Comedy Central, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Fair Elections Center, Levi Strauss & Co, MTV, Patagonia, Pizza to the Polls, Time To Vote, Uber, and We Can Vote all joined forces to launch the coalition in June. They met their goal on Tuesday, which also marked National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, and are looking to recruit 100,000 more volunteers.

“Reaching this milestone of 250,000 poll worker recruits on National Poll Worker Recruitment Day means we’re that much closer to ensuring voters’ ability to cast a ballot is not stifled by mass closures, long lines, and fewer opportunities to physically distance at polling sites due to a lack of poll workers,” said Scott Duncombe, Co-Director of Power the Polls. “We can’t slow down—we won’t stop until every poll worker position in the country is filled.”