Did you know that in over half of the states, employees can take time off work to vote, sometimes paid? Iowa is one of those states, though under very limited circumstances. According to the Iowa Secretary of State:
“Iowa voters who do not have three consecutive hours when they are not required to be at work during the time between when the polls open and close on election day are entitled to up to three hours off from work to vote.
Employees must make an individual written request for time off to vote to their employer before election day. The employer designates the period of time the employee will be allowed to leave work to vote. The employee cannot be penalized and deductions cannot be made from the employee’s regular salary or wages on account of this absence.
Example: An employee works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and wishes to vote at an election where the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The employee would not be entitled to time off work to vote in this instance because the employee has four consecutive hours (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) that the employee is not required to be at work while the polls are open.
However, if the employee worked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the employee would be entitled to time off work to vote. In this instance, the employee does not have three consecutive hours off work while the polls are open.”
But remember—you don’t have to go to the polls to vote. Early voting is underway in Iowa and continues through November 5th, one day before election day. Click here to find out where you can vote early or to find your election day polling place. You can also visit the Vote! section of our website for a whole bunch of free voting tools.