It is quite clear that the election season is upon us. From television ads to unsolicited text messages, there is absolutely no way to miss the importance of this election. This election shapes our future and the future for those we love. We must uphold our civic duty and exercise our right to vote.
In my colleague’s article Vote Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, she discusses the impacts this election will have as it relates to labor and employment law. Indeed, recent events have made us all wonder what the future holds for employees’ rights. It is not only the Supreme Court that impacts these rights but all of those who are up for election.
The importance of this election requires every American to make informed decisions before voting. Take a moment and research the candidates on the ballot. Do not cast a vote without having knowledge about the person you are voting for. There is so much at stake this election for us not to do our due diligence. After you have done your research, encourage your spouse, friends, and family to vote and to research the candidates as well.
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
To check your voter’s registration status, you can visit www.votetexas.gov. Click on the “Am I registered?” tab and fill in your personal information. You will be promptly notified of your voter’s registration status. If you are not registered, please print an application and submit it before October 5, 2020. If you missed the deadline, you still can help in this election. There are many local organizations looking for volunteers to ensure an efficient voting process.
When can I vote?
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. However, you do not have to wait until November 3, 2020 to cast your vote. You can join many Americans who have casted their vote during early voting. In Texas, early voting begins Tuesday, October 13, 2020 and runs through Friday, October 30, but these dates may vary based on your county. Please visit your county website for more details. In you live in Dallas county, you can visit www.dallascountyvotes.org/early-voting-information/.
Am I entitled to paid time off to vote?
It depends. If you voted during early voting, you are not likely entitled to any paid time off to go vote on election day. However, if you did not vote during early voting, you may be entitled to paid time off for voting on election day. The Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Election Code provide that if an employee does not have at least two consecutive hours to vote outside the employee’s working hours, the employee is entitled to take paid time off for voting on election day.
Should I volunteer to work the polls?
Absolutely. If you have the availability, you should volunteer to work the polls. Due to the current pandemic, it is believed that many traditional poll workers will not be able or willing to work the polls. This is a time that we must pull together to ensure a safe and fair election.
In just a few days, the 2020 election will have come and gone. The television ads and unsolicited text messages will cease. And, our country’s future will be in the hands of those we have elected. In order to make this election count, we all to have to do our part. First, we have to be committed to vote. Second, we have to encourage others to vote. Third, we have to show up and vote. This pandemic limits everything we do, but it will not limit your right to vote.