Why Make Election Day a Holiday?

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Every 2 years we add a holiday for election day at Antidote 71

Whether Election Day should be a holiday nationwide is often a subject of debate. Do we give everyone the day off so they can vote? Is that too much? Do people really need that much time? All of these are really great questions. And most states have laws that require employers to give employees a specific number of hours off to cast their ballot. And most polls stay open until 8pm or later, so if you’re off at 5pm, you can still get there. So why is it important for us to declare Election Day a company holiday?

It sends a message about priorities

Our business is extremely important to all of us. And we know that what we do for our clients—and being available—is critical to their well-being. But, in life, and in particular in our culture, business isn’t everything. We value quality of life for everyone who works here—and for our clients. We try not to schedule meetings extremely early, or extremely late, for our team and for your team. We all need time to take a break.

With everything going on in life, getting to the polls—or even taking time to research and fill out a mail-in ballot, can get deprioritized. Kids. Bills. Errands. Groceries. Car repairs. So many things can get in the way. We want to ensure our employees know that whatever their political affiliation or opinions, voting is important. Making their voice heard in the office—and at the ballot box—is important to us, and to the country.

voting isn't a partisan thing

We don’t all have the same politics (shocker!) at Antidote 71. We don’t believe the same things, we don’t all vote as one giant block. We also don’t let politics get in the way of our day-to-day interactions or work together. It’s not that we avoid talking about issues, we definitely talk about a lot of common issues of the day. We just don’t politicize them. We focus on facts, details, and personal preferences. Not what the latest pundit from either party is spouting that day.

Even when we disagree internally at the office, everyone’s opinion gets heard. And it’s the same way with voting. Our mantra is—no matter how you vote, just vote. Be heard. Be counted. Be a part of moving the country forward.

It reinforces our flexible culture

Even if we didn’t make Election Day a holiday, any employee could take the day off for any reason. Our flexible time off policy ensures that our team can get personal tasks complete, as well as business tasks. By declaring it a holiday though, it helps anyone who might think it’s a “weird day” to take off. Or has reservations or concerns about not working. As a leadership team, we put a stake in the ground to let them know it’s 100% OK to take a break, do your civic duty, and vote.

And if you’ve already filled out your ballot and dropped it off? Watch the kids so your spouse can vote. Help a neighbor get to the polls. Totally fine. Take the day anyway. Spend time with family. Take a break to enjoy the last moments of fall before winter. Just breathe. And enjoy a random November holiday.

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One of our traditions is to always add Election Day as a company holiday, and we're doing the same this year in spite of the pandemic. Why?
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