USA: Coca-Cola joins "Time to Vote" movement

After U.S. President Donald Trump trump discouraged voters from remote voting by mail, saying that mail-in voting would be “catastrophic” for the United States, many initiatives want to encourage voters to go voting on Election Day despite the risk of being infected with the new corona virus. In the past, many people already refrained from voting, saying that they were too busy with the demands of work and life. To address this barrier and increase voter participation, a diverse coalition of companies came together in the summer of 2018 to launch Time To Vote. The companies made a commitment to ensure that their employees had a work schedule that allowed them time to vote in that year's midterm elections. This year even more companies have joined the movement and The Coca Cola Company as one of the most prominent members announced today to take also part.

“We are giving our employees Election Day off in the U.S. this year and partnering with to encourage employees to vote,” the company posted on twitter. Other major members of the movement include J.P Morgan Chase, Hewlett Packard, Levi Strauss, Unilever, Nike, Twitter, Uber, Visa and Wlamart.

Next to Coca Cola, Allagash Brewing, Brown–Forman, New Belgium Brewing and lately also PepsiCo, only a few more beverage companies can be found on the list which has more than 600 entries. Neither AB InBev nor Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, Heineken or Boston Beer Company have signed up so far.

In the United States, Election Day is statutorily set as "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" equalling "the first Tuesday after November 1". Therefore Election Day is always a working day and cannot be set on a weekend like in most other democracies all over the world. This has for sure also an influence on the composition of voters and therefore on the final vote since less people with a full-time work are likely to go voting. An initiative like Time To Vote could help to mitigate the consequences.

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