Sending Office: Honorable Matt Cartwright
End Financial Barriers to Voting!
Be an Original Cosponsor of the Time Off to Vote Act
116th Original Cosponsors: Clarke, Connolly, McNerney, Pocan
115th Cosponsors: Blumenauer, Clarke, Cohen, Connolly, DeGette, Evans, Hank Johnson, Jeffries, Robin Kelly, Loebsack, McGovern, McNerney, Moore, Nadler, Norton, Pocan, Polis, Raskin, Vargas, Veasey, Wasserman Schultz
115th Endorsing Organizations: Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Common Cause
The right to vote is essential to our democracy. As President Johnson said in 1957, “This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.” While the days
of poll taxes and literacy tests are behind us, impediments to voting still remain.
Employers in 25 states are not required to give their workers paid leave to vote. In 19 states, employers are not required to let their employees leave work to vote at all. In this environment, employees can be actively prohibited by their employers from
leaving work to vote, and many others choose not to attend the polls because they simply cannot afford the 1-3 hours of unpaid time that voting often requires. For example, an individual working a 40-hour job at minimum wage would forgo 5% of their weekly
salary if they take off two hours to vote.
This is why I am writing to ask you to cosponsor H.R. 3038, the Time Off to Vote Act, a bill which would require employers to grant their workers at least two hours of paid leave to vote in federal elections. Such a provision already exists in 22 states,
and it is time we act to ensure that citizens everywhere have a voice in their government, regardless of where they happen to work.
We cannot afford laws that push people out of the electorate. For the United States to be a true democracy, every eligible American must be able to cast a ballot without suffering a burdensome economic sacrifice. Voting should not be a luxury that only
the well-off can afford. Join me in helping to ensure that all Americans, irrespective of their economic condition, are able to exercise this right that is the cornerstone of democracy.
If you would like to become a cosponsor of the Time Off to Vote Act, or if you have any questions, please contact Kate Huffman in my office at 5-5546 or at Kate.Huffman@mail.house.gov.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0