Facebook to give employees paid time off to staff polls for election, report says – CNET

Written by Clifford Colby

With the coronavirus pandemic expected to crimp the number of poll workers who will staff election sites this fall, Facebook has reportedly told its employees they’ll be able to take extra paid time off to work at voting places on Election Day.

In a normal election year, older people make up the majority of poll workers. But with those older adults at a higher risk of infection, state and local election officials are asking younger people to volunteer for poll duty to fill the expected shortage.

Facebook will also cover any training that employees need to participate in to work at voting sites, according to a report Friday from Axios. Facebook will also reportedly send notifications to users 18 years and older about how to sign up as poll workers.

The social media company didn’t respond to a request to comment.

“Many traditional poll workers are senior citizens who are at increased risk of contracting the coronavirus, and so they are afraid to work the polls in this election” said, Matthew Levendusky, a professor of political science and an expert on US politics. “Those who are at lower risk of contracting COVID-19 can volunteer to help ensure that the election functions smoothly this November.”

Earlier this year, Apple and Twitter each announced they’d give employees paid time off to vote this fall.

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