ABC New Hampshire & Vermont News
Challenge to All Business Owners
Under the constitution, each of us is given the right to cast a vote. That vote selects each official that we want to represent us in OUR government. Today we need good representation more than ever. There are far too many of us sitting back, not exercising our right to vote. In the 2008 national election, approximately 57% of the voting population turned out to cast votes. This is unacceptable!! This coming November, we will be casting votes for both local and national officials; we will choose the next leader of this country. We simply cannot stand back and let others make those decisions for us. We need to vote and our employees need to vote. We are the working class of America and we need to be heard. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue; it is about executing our civic duty.
I am a small business owner in Concord, NH. We employ 13 full-time voting-age individuals. Many will say we are too small to affect the outcome of an election. However, a quick Google search shows there are 4.5 million small businesses in America that employ fewer than 50 people. I’m not an actuary, but 4.5 million times an average of 30 employees is 135,000,000 million people. Even if my numbers are off slightly, this is still a huge number. This number represents a rather large segment of the overall voting population. Many of our employees make up some of the 57% that did vote. But there are still way too many that make up the 43% that did not vote. We have the power to change that.
So, here’s my challenge. I have allowed my employees to leave 1 hour early between now and the election to go and register to vote if they are not currently registered. They will be paid for that hour. On NH Primary Day and Election Day, our work day will start 1 hour later, so that those people, who wish to vote, can do so easily. Those employees who take the hour off to vote will be paid for that time. Those who are not registered to vote will show up at the usual time and begin work. I am challenging all businesses to do the same! In the grand scheme of things, the 3 paid hours are minimal. This is MY non-partisan, political contribution! IF other small business owners follow suit, it is my hope that this gesture will bring about greater voter awareness and thereby increase voter turn-out for both the local and general elections. Together we can have a voice. I hope that all businesses, large or small, that hear about my challenge will consider it and think about the change we can effect if we all do this together!