Every Vote Counts: Iowa Businesses & the 2023 Midterm Election
Voting is the greatest democratic privilege in our country. In recent years, election turnout has been the highest in U.S. history, and this fall’s midterm election will show how this trend continues. Businesses can affect participation if 1.5 million employed Iowans are encouraged to vote in the 2022 midterm election.
Iowans are passionate about positioning our state for success. In this election, we will be choosing representatives who will work for Iowa over the next several years and leave fingerprints on our great state. There is value in empowering employees to participate in the upcoming election. Organizations can build their company culture through civic engagement. Casting votes reminds us that our voice matters.
Here are ways to encourage employees to vote.
- Provide resources for easier voting. To vote, some employees may need access to computers or printers to complete their voter registration, research candidates, or request an absentee ballot. If there are many employees without individual company devices, consider setting up a station. Openly communicate with employees that they are welcome to use company resources in these ways.
- Plan for flexibility on election day. Some employees may prefer to vote in-person on election day. Make plans for flexible scheduling on election day. Some companies go above and beyond by supporting employees who would like to volunteer, such as running a precinct or giving rides to and from the polling center. Election day can be another way for the company to be involved in the community. According to Iowa Code Ann. 49. 109, “Employers must provide employees three consecutive hours off to vote if their work shift does not allow them three consecutive hours to vote between the opening and closing of polls. Employees may not be penalized, nor may any deduction be made from their regular salary or wages, for taking time off to vote. Employees must request time off individually and in writing before Election Day. Employers will designate the period of time during which the employee may take time off.”
- Promote participation over politics. When discussing the election, ensure employees understand it is not about who they’re voting for–only that they vote. Politics are often personal, but the act of voting should be available to all who would like to participate. Managers are often most helpful in encouraging employees to engage in the company’s voting program. It may be helpful to designate an employee who is committed to providing voting and election information in a non-partisan manner throughout the process.
Key dates for 2022 Midterm Elections
By mail (postmarked by): October 24, 2022
Online: October 24, 2022 by 5 PM
In-person at voting location on Election Day: November 8, 2022
Absentee Ballot Deadlines
Request ballot (received by): October 24, 2022 by 5 PM
Return ballot by mail (received by): November 8, 2022 by 8 PM
Return ballot in person: November 8, 2022 by 8 PM
Early voting (in-person absentee voting): October 19 - November 7, 2022
In-person: November 8, 2022
For employers looking for sharable information about the upcoming election, IA Votes assists in communicating with employees and the community about the people and policies that impact their jobs, industries, and lives. Visit IA Votes for additional resources.
Joel Duncan, Strategic Advisor