SHRM’s Get-Out-the-Vote-Campaign Tries To Spark Voting Awareness

By Susan Levine Jun 3, 2008

To encourage more people to vote in the upcoming general election, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is working with the non partisan Get Out the Vote (GOTV) to help HR professionals prompt workers to register and cast their ballots.

SHRM and GOTV don’t support any particular candidate. But they both want to urge everyone who is qualified to register and vote for their favorite candidate—whoever that may be—on Election Day.

“It’s important to remember that voting is the purpose of the effort and that political beliefs and parties are not the focal point,” said Recardo Gibson, SHRM member advocacy specialist in government affairs. “Getting others to vote is what makes all the difference.”

A special SHRM-hosted web site, slated to launch in June 2008, will provide HR professionals with information and suggestions on how to promote voter activity in the workplace, as well as encouraging HR practitioners to vote.

“The results of this election could have an impact on the way HR professionals do their day-to-day jobs from 2009 and beyond,” said Gibson.

Voting is inextricably linked with HR because an elected candidate’s policies will affect employment, workplace flexibility, health care, gas prices and benefits, among other things. HR professionals not only need to keep abreast of the most current politics, but also should encourage their employees and peers to be politically savvy and head to the polls.

In 2004, less than half of employed registered voters reported voting in November, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Because many employees talk about politics on the job, workplaces can be key locations to foster voter commitment. Among other recommendations on SHRM’s GOTV site, HR professionals will be reminded to stay nonpartisan while still encouraging employees to vote for their chosen candidate.

Along with updates on state-level ballot initiatives and deadlines for state voting registration, SHRM’s GOTV site will feature webcasts, podcasts and other information from the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Susan Lackey is an intern in the SHRM Editorial Department.


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