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How retailers are working to get out the vote on Election Day

Big names like REI and Patagonia are helping ensure employees and consumers alike get out and vote

Inflation, interest rates, a looming recession: There’s been an uptick in talk about the current state of the U.S. economy and financial analysis of foreseen market trends. Midterm elections are quickly approaching on Nov. 8 and each vote holds substantial value this year.

While presidential elections historically garner higher voter turnout, midterm elections hold a great amount of importance in dictating control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. That can have large legislative, policy and foreign relation impacts. Retailers have recognized the significance of this election and have implemented ways to help get out the vote.

Vote retail

Learn more about how you can make a difference by casting your vote this November.

Specialty outdoors retailer REI Co-op has publicly announced it will be delaying the opening of its stores by two hours and give employees paid time off to vote on Election Day. The announcement was a part of the Your Vote Can’t Wait campaign that can be found through the retailer’s Cooperative Action Network, providing information and resources on how to vote for outdoor spaces.

Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Ben Stelle spoke on the decision, saying, “No one should be forced to choose between going to work and participating in the democratic process.”

REI is not the only company encouraging voting for the 2022 elections. CEO of Patagonia Ryan Gellert took to a CNN opinion article to express Patagonia’s continuous support for employee voting efforts.

“We want our employees to have a paid day off and be able to vote without worrying about being late for work,” Gellert says. “To my fellow business leaders: Make sure your employees don’t have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck. The strength of our democracy – and our country – depends on it.”

REI and Patagonia are both part of the Time to Vote campaign. Launched in 2018, the program saw nearly 2,000 companies committing to crafting employee work schedules in a way that ensured they had time to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. Other companies that joined the non-partisan movement include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Carhartt, Walmart, Target and Nike.

Companies like Athleta, Kate Spade, Macy’s and Old Navy have also promoted civic action by becoming members of Brands for Democracy, a Rock the Vote program. Joining nonpartisan efforts like Time to Vote or Brands for Democracy helps retailers convey the value of civic engagement and can promote politics that aid in brand missions.

Higher voter turnout leads to greater representation. With one week to go until midterm elections, it is important that you cast your vote. Vote early, mail in an absentee ballot or head to the booths — make your plan for Election Day.

Read more on the ways you can vote retail in 2022.

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