Agency Is Paying Employees Who Take Time Off To Volunteer At The Polls

Here’s a timely item from an agency—Duncan Channon—that has opted to give employees paid time off to volunteer at the polls on Election Day next Tuesday.

The idea was championed in house by art director J. Moe, who after volunteering in California during the 2016 elections was struck by the impact poll workers have on engaging voters. She also experienced firsthand what it was like to have an understaffed polling location and became passionate about inspiring others to serve as election officials.

I totally get that. I vote in New York City and over the years I’ve experienced some very chaotic voting experiences at polling places with ill-formed lines, lengthy delays and lots of screaming and yelling fueled by confusion, impatience and woefully understaffed venues.

At the end of the day, I’m always glad I’ve put up with the chaos to exercise my democratic right. But I have to admit there have been times, waiting for a booth when I’ve thought never again (!) albeit not really meaning it. Still polls can be unruly places that don’t exactly encourage people to do their civic duty.



So kudos to Moe (as she’s known to friends and colleagues) for her efforts. She decided to not only ask DC’s partners to pay for her time off -- but for any agency staffer who wanted to volunteer at the polls.

And it turned out to be a “no brainer” for Duncan Channon CEO Andy Berkenfield, when Moe pitched the idea. In addition to pitching Berkenfield, she made a presentation to the entire agency and worked individually with staffers to show them how to sign up and get trained to volunteer, as well as how to register to vote.

The upshot: Over 20% of DC’s 60-person staff took a new voting-related action, including six staffers  (DC’s co-founder and chairman Robert Duncan among them) who opted to volunteer at polling locations. Others took the equally important step of registering to vote.

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