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Why Should Anyone Have to Choose Between Voting and a Paycheck?

At K1, we believe the simple act of giving employees the day off on Election Day is a critical step to raising voter turnout, strengthening our democracy and expressing our patriotism. Prior to the 2020 election, about half of all eligible voters in the US didn’t show up at the polls, whether that was due to institutional barriers, lack of awareness, or lack of interest. K1 is proud to take this step again for the 2022 election cycle, and we encourage other business leaders to do the same.

In alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), K1 is again making Election Day a paid holiday, giving our employees the day off to exercise their right to vote. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions is the foundational SDG upon which all others are supported. According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, the vast majority of people at the very least expect business leaders to take a public stand on societal issues. For more resources on how to make voting a priority at your organization, click here

We believe civic engagement should be the norm for how best-in-class companies demonstrate their value to employees, customers, and portfolio companies alike. Democracy works best when every citizen has the opportunity to participate, which is why we give our employees the day off to cast their ballots during this and every election cycle. 

During the last presidential election, K1 joined Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of businesses committed to a thriving democracy. The Alliance binds hundreds of different companies across the United States together by three simple beliefs: 

  1. Every American has a voice in our democracy. 
  2. Voting should be safe, secure, and accessible to all. 
  3. Elections must be fair and transparent. 

We also joined A Day for Democracy, a nonpartisan initiative founded by CEOs that encourages employers across the US to pledge their commitment to increasing voter access, registration, and participation. As leaders, we have the power to strengthen our democracy by supporting safe, trusted, and accessible elections and inspiring our employees to participate in civic life. Regardless of party affiliations, voting is fundamental to a healthy democracy and remains one of the most widely recognized acts of engaged citizenship. 

But that doesn’t necessarily mean every American experiences the voting process the same way. The following groups are chronically underrepresented and have historically lacked easy access to the polls: 

  • Military service members 
  • People living with disabilities 
  • Those with language access needs 
  • Low-income communities 
  • Communities of color 
  • Americans living overseas 

It is critical to celebrate the right to vote and remove barriers wherever we can. The overarching goal? Increase voter turnout by all Americans, increase confidence in our elections and in our democracy.