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U.S. Reps. Cartwright and Williams Reintroduce the Time Off to Vote Act

Legislators Seeking to Require Employers to Provide Employees at Least Two Hours of Paid Leave to Vote in Federal Elections

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and U.S. Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05) have reintroduced the Time Off to Vote Act, which would require employers to provide their employees at least two hours of paid leave to vote in a federal election.

During each election, many wage earners choose not to go to the polls because they simply cannot afford to take time off from work. The Time Off to Vote Act would establish a minimum national standard to give workers time to vote without creating a financial burden.

“Voting should not be a luxury that only the well-off can afford,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This bill reaffirms our commitment to making voting more accessible to all by ensuring that American workers do not have to choose between casting their ballots or receiving a full paycheck.”

“As a working mom, I know how tough it is to carve out time to vote in between our daily demands,” said Rep. Williams, Co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus and the Task Force for Strengthening Democracy. “That’s why I am proud to reintroduce the Time Off to Vote Act because no one should be forced to choose between earning their full paycheck or participating in our democracy. This legislation will make it easier for working people to exercise their sacred right to vote. Everyone deserves free and fair access to the ballot box, regardless of where they work or their flexibility while on the clock.”

This legislation has received the support of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC; Brennan Center for Justice; Common Cause; End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund; GALEO Impact Fund; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; League of Conservation Voters; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.; National Association of Social Workers (NASW); National Education Association (NEA); Service Employees International Union (SEIU); The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; UNITE HERE;; Voters of Tomorrow.

“All Americans deserve to have their voices heard and votes counted. Especially as some states pass discriminatory voter suppression laws, the Time Off to Vote Act is needed more than ever,” said Sylvia Albert, Director of Voting and Elections at Common Cause.  to Require Employers to Provide Employees at Least Two Hours of Paid Leave to Vote in a Federal Election“We commend Representative Cartwright for his leadership to protect and strengthen the freedom to vote so that ‘We the People’ can continue to have our voices heard.”

“The American public should be able to exercise the right to vote without the obstacle of missing a paycheck to do so. Many face this very choice, and we applaud Representative Matt Cartwright for working to correct this injustice,” said Everett Kelly, American Federation of Government Employees National President. “AFGE represents thousands of employees serving, caring for, and protecting the American public while also working long hours on late-night or odd shifts. Some are front-line workers on shifts around the clock, and even more work far from home and endure commutes that make it difficult to take time off to vote. The Time Off to Vote Act will help American workers including AFGE members exercise their right to vote by delivering them paid leave, which allows flexibility for workers with difficult schedules to access the polls on election day. We support the Time Off to Vote Act and look forward to its passage so that federal employees may more fully participate in our democracy.”

“Black and Brown working people shouldn’t have to choose between making their voices heard at the ballot box and providing for their families,” said Alex Ault, Policy Counsel, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is proud to once again endorse the Time Off to Vote Act, a necessary piece of legislation to combat the burdens of long lines and ease the hard choices Black and Brown voters too often confront.”

“The ability to participate in the democratic process is one of our greatest rights in this country. No American should be prevented from making their voice heard at the ballot box because they can’t get time off work to do it. We applaud Congressman Cartwright for his continued leadership in expanding the freedom to vote––and we fully support his Time Off to Vote Act,” said Tiffany Muller, President, End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund.

This legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Becca Balint (VT-At Large); Nanette Barragán (CA-44); Earl Blumenauer (OR-03); Jamaal Bowman (NY-16); Brendan Boyle (PA-02); Shontel Brown (OH-11); André Carson (IN-07); Troy Carter (LA-02); Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20); Yvette Clarke (NY-09); Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05); Steve Cohen (TN-09); Jasmine Crockett (TX-30); Danny K. Davis (IL-07); Chris Deluzio (PA-17); Lloyd Doggett (TX-37); Adriano Espaillat (NY-13); Dwight Evans (PA-03); Ruben Gallego (AZ-03); Al Green (TX-09); Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07); Jonathan Jackson (IL-01); Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18); Sara Jacobs (CA-51); Hank Johnson (GA-04); Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37); Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08); Barbara Lee (CA-12); Jennifer McClellan (VA-04); Betty McCollum (MN-04); Gregory Meeks (NY-05); Gwen Moore (WI-04); Seth Moulton (MA-06); Kevin Mullin (CA-15); Grace Napolitano (CA-31); Wiley Nickel (NC-13); Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large); Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10); Mark Pocan (WI-02); Katie Porter (CA-47); Ayanna Pressley (MA-07); Jamie Raskin (MD-08); C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02); Andrea Salinas (OR-06); Linda Sánchez (CA-38); John Sarbanes (MD-03); Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05); Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); Adam Schiff (CA-30); Terri Sewell (AL-07); Eric Swalwell (CA-14); Bennie Thompson (MS-02); Dina Titus (NV-01); Rashida Tlaib (MI-12); David Trone (MD-06); Juan Vargas (CA-52); Nydia Velázquez (NY-07); Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25); Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12); Nikema Williams (GA-05); Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

Full text of the bill can be found HERE.