If manufacturers have not already begun talking to employees and colleagues about the importance of casting their ballots on November 8, the time is now.
With so many close races from the top of the ticket to the bottom of the ballot, the 12 million manufacturing workers in the U.S. can play a huge role in electing our future leaders.
There is a great deal of frustration and anger from a majority of voters who feel the U.S is heading in the wrong direction. They are unhappy with the lack of discussion on policy differences and with the negative campaigns being run by candidates. Therefore, it is critical for all manufacturers to encourage voting participation the days before Election Day.
The National Association of Manufacturers surveyed manufacturing workers nationwide following the 2014 elections, and found that only 17 percent had heard from their employers about voting and elections. However, of those who had, 62 percent said that the information they received helped them make a decision about how to cast their ballots. Simply stated, employees want, and need, to hear from you as they make their decisions in coming days.
What kind of election or political information should you share with your employees? Generally, it is appropriate to send “good government,” civic-minded election information. You should encourage voter registration and participation, and spread non-partisan candidate information. Check out NAM’s Election Center here for legally approved materials. Do not tell employees which candidates they should support.
When we polled manufacturing workers, more than half support employers sending email reminders about the importance of voting, putting up posters in workrooms or on the shop floor to encourage voting, or showing non-partisan videos that promote voting.
If you do share this type of information with employees, it will spark employee attention to political issues and encourage them to conduct further research, talk to their friends and family, and engage on social media. Employers are a trusted source of information, so your encouragement will help generate more political involvement.
Knowing what to say about voting and when to say it can seem daunting, so we have assembled some legally approved simple tactics to help get the vote out on the shop floor.
Ideas for employers to encourage voting on Election Day include:
- Print and hang up posters, like the ones provided on the National Association of Manufacturers Election Center.
- Use Voter Guides, which are searchable by zip code for a side-by-side comparison of your respective federal candidates on important manufacturing issues.
- Watch and share the NAM’s latest voter video with your co-workers, family, and friends.
- Make hours flexible on Election Day so employees can go to the polls.
- Set up carpools from your facility to the polls on Election Day. Just remember, you cannot deny anyone a ride if you offer the service, nor can you coerce anyone to go against their will.
- Have “election captains” on hand at your facilities to help look up polling locations for employees and answer questions about going to the polls.
Remember, keep all communications about voting and elections non-partisan; this is the easiest way to avoid any legal concerns, or the impression that you are telling people how to vote.
The time is now to make your Get-Out-The-Vote campaign a part of your corporate responsibility commitment in 2016. Your employees will welcome these “good government” civic communications.
Please check out Friends of Manufacturing to get all your Get-Out-The-Vote materials.