Early weekend voting makes it easier for many people to exercise their rights to vote. But we can make it simpler still by giving staff paid time off to go to the polls on Election Day or even engage in other Election Day activities.

(Some states already have outlines employers' responsibilities related to workers' voting rights. Learn more from NOLO here.)

Please vote

Studies show that giving employees time off to participate in civic activities like voting can boost employees' performance and their attitudes. It's also a good way to show corporate social responsibility. Get tips on creating voting-leave policies and more from the Society for Human Resources Management.

I take every Election Day off to work the polls. Sometimes, I welcome voters on behalf of my party and answer questions about the ballot or candidates. Other times, like today, I invite voters to cast a ballot for a particular candidate or issue. My teammates here at The Word Factory are encouraged to do the same, or serve as a poll judge, do last-minute door-knocking or phone-/text-banking or engage in voter-protection activities (Read up on voting rights and protections for North Carolinians at the Democracy NC site.)

The point is, candidates running for every seat at every level of government make decisions that effect us as private and corporate citizens. Making it possible for staff to participate in the process is vital to building and sustaining a strong community and country.

The Word Factory’s Margot Lester advocates for time off to vote and engage in other Election Day activities.