Why Quartet is Making Election Day 2020 a Paid Holiday

election day holiday quartet

October 8, 2020

At Quartet, we’re giving Election Day off as a paid holiday. 

This shouldn’t be an extraordinary act. Voting is a right in America, but the truth is that it isn’t easily exercised by all. About 117 million registered voters didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. Some of the reasons were because they had conflicting schedules, transportation issues, or their polling places or hours for voting were inconvenient. That’s a staggering number of people who missed out on the chance to make their voices heard and shape our democracy. 

Sadly, many people who want to vote simply can’t. Election Day isn’t a federal holiday, so in states where early voting isn’t an option, many people will have to vote in person on a Tuesday when they also have to work. For many people with hourly jobs or roles where taking off for a few hours to wait in line to vote isn’t possible, they aren’t able to exercise their right to vote. This is also true for people who can’t get to their polling place before or after work hours due to childcare constraints or other personal responsibilities. There are also voter suppression efforts around the country that make it harder for people to vote, particularly communities of color.

We also know that this year is anything but typical. Coronavirus has added more complexities to an already strained system of voting in person. Due to the pandemic, there are fewer poll workers than past years and fewer polling sites. We’re expecting longer lines and wait times to vote in person while poll workers enforce physical distancing inside voting locations, sanitize between voters, and enforce mask wearing and other rules that haven’t existed before while voting. Additionally, racial tensions and concerns about more aggressive voter suppression and other tactics that restrict a person’s right to vote are more prevalent this year than in recent history. 

At Quartet, we want to make sure that everyone who can vote, does vote. And it starts with us.

We care deeply about our team and want to help them take care of themselves. Even as we’re working remotely to keep ourselves and our communities safe, we didn’t want people to have to worry about starting work late or ending work early to vote. Everyone deserves an equal chance to vote.

We also take great pride in giving back to our communities. By giving Election Day off as a paid holiday, we’re also giving our team members the opportunity to volunteer and get involved in ways they couldn’t have if it were a regular work day. I’m thrilled to hear that several Quartetians (our affectionate name for the incredible people who work at Quartet) are volunteering in this election because they have the day off:

“I want to help ensure our voting process takes place in a fair and accessible way,” said Kate Panepinto, a Provider Support Administrator in California. “Also, I live in a county with a high number of COVID cases, and I think that may make it harder to find volunteers in my county. I’m grateful to Quartet for giving us the day off so that I can participate this way!”

“I’d been hearing concerns of a shortage of poll workers this year due to the pandemic, so when we got notice that we would have election day off, it was a no brainer for me,” said Margaret Smiley, Data Operations Manager in New York.

Camille Hernandez, a Care Navigator based in Washington, said she’s volunteering as a poll worker this year “because it’s the first time I had the day off to do so. Usually I have to alter my day or rush to the polls and now, I don’t have to!”

“We need strong, empathetic, qualified leadership and to get it we need a fair election that can support every American casting a ballot at the polls this year,” said Tori Styner, a full stack engineer. “I’m volunteering at the polls this year to ensure the integrity of our elections and to support my community in Philadelphia as they make their voices heard.”

Erin Fitzgerald, Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs, is volunteering to do voter protection in Pennsylvania because “I want to make sure that every person who wants to vote, can exercise their right to vote. There is a lot at stake in this election, and making sure we have safe and fair elections is paramount.”

This is an important moment in our country’s history. We need to remove as many roadblocks as possible to give people the opportunity to vote and play a part in our democracy. That starts with giving people the day off as a paid holiday and I urge other companies to join us and do the same. 

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