Biden Signs Executive Order Researching Time Off to Vote for Feds

Categories: The Insider

President Joe Biden has directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to find ways to grant federal workers time off to vote as part of the administration’s bigger effort to promote access to voting for all Americans. 

“It is a priority of my Administration to ensure that the Federal Government, as the Nation’s largest employer, serves as a model employer by encouraging and facilitating Federal employees’ civic participation,” Biden said in the March 7 executive order. 

He went on to direct OPM to do the following in the first 200 days of the EO date:  

  • Coordinate with agency heads to come up with strategies on granting federal workers time off to vote in federal, state, and local elections. 
  • Coordinate with agency heads to find ways to support federal workers who want to volunteer as poll workers or non-partisan observers. 

“It is the policy of my Administration to promote and defend the right to vote for all Americans who are legally entitled to participate in elections,” Biden added. “It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to expand access to, and education about, voter registration and election information, and to combat misinformation, in order to enable all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.” 

AFGE welcomes the initiative.  

“The right to vote and choose our own leaders is fundamental to our democracy, but too many Americans aren't able to exercise their right to vote in our elections simply because they can’t afford to take time off work on a Tuesday,” said AFGE National President Everett Kelley. “As we witness brazen assaults on voting rights from GOP-controlled state legislatures across our nation, our union applauds President Biden for using the powerful example of the federal government to show how American employers can take simple steps to strengthen our democracy and shore up our rights as citizens of the world’s greatest democracy.” 

Our union also supports the “Time Off to Vote Act” introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) last year and included in a new voter protection bill, H.R. 1, this year. 

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