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Old Navy says it will pay employees who choose to skip work to work polls on Election Day

Posted at 9:42 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 09:42:05-04

SAN FRANCISCO — Old Navy employees will be paid if they work as poll volunteers on election day, the retailer said Tuesday.

In its announcement, which came on National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, the company encouraged its 50,000+ employees to apply to serve in their communities as poll workers.

Old Navy said employees who work the polls would be compensated with eight hours worth of pay, outside of any compensation they receive from their local jurisdiction.

"We are constantly inspired by our store teams, with their passion for community work and fostering a sense of belonging both in and outside of our store walls," said Nancy Green, Old Navy's President. "Every voice in this country matters and deserves to be heard at the polls, and if we at Old Navy can be even a small part of making that process more accessible to the communities we call home, we are on board."

The company is one of hundreds that are partnering with Civic Alliance and Power of the Polls in a push to recruit more poll workers ahead of the 2020 general election.

Officials estimate that as many as 250,000 poll workers may be needed to work during November's election — and that if not enough show up, some polling locations will be forced to close, potentially causing long lines, which could cause some voters to become disenfranchised.

It takes about 30 days to train a new poll worker, so officials say workers need to be hired as soon as possible to be ready for election day. And while worer pay varies across the country, some counties will pay poll workers as much as $17 an hour.

According to Power the Polls, the states with the most need for additional poll workers are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

This story was originally published by Corey Crockett and Maya Rodriguez on WPIX in New York.