Companies Making It Easier for Americans to Get to Polls

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From baby-sitting services to time off from work, here's what some companies are doing to ensure Americans have the opportunity to cast ballots on Nov. 8.

For many Americans, simply getting to the polls on Election Day can be a challenge. But some companies are hoping to change that.

The YMCA of the USA recently announced that hundreds of its locations are offering free child care services on Nov. 8 so parents can drop off their kids and go cast their ballots, USA Today reports.

Check with your local Y before Election Day to make sure they’re offering the free child care services on Nov. 8 before dropping your kids off.

YMCA of the USA president and CEO Kevin Washington says in a statement:

“Election Day is arguably one of the most important days in the U.S. this year — the ultimate opportunity for Americans to make their voices heard through the democratic process. Unfortunately, many people who want to vote find it challenging because they have to take children with them.”

Washington says offering free child care enables parents and caregivers the opportunity to vote and “ensures children can spend their time in a safe, nurturing environment.”

Election Day in the U.S. is not a national holiday, so scores of Americans will be working on Nov. 8. Of course, they can always cast their ballot before or after work before polls close, and many employers do try and accommodate getting their workers to the polls.

A group of more than 320 companies in the U.S. have publicly pledged to give workers time off to vote on Election Day. According to CBS MoneyWatch, the companies are a part of the “Take Off Election Day” movement, which now includes high-profile companies such as Spotify, Tinder, Square, Western Union and SurveyMonkey.

The hope is that by making it easier for Americans to vote, more people will head to the polls on Election Day. While countries like Sweden, Turkey and Belgium often see voter turnout of 80 percent at their national elections, MoneyWatch says just 54 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential election in the U.S.

Do you think the U.S. should declare Election Day a national holiday? Would that help with voter turnout? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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