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Here’s How REI Is Making Sure Employees Don’t Have to Choose Between Voting and Earning a Paycheck

REI is ensuring that none of its employees have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck on Election Day.

The outdoor recreation retailer announced today that it has encouraged workers to use one of its “Co-op way Days” — or paid time off for community service, advocacy, civil participation and volunteer activities — on Nov. 3. The flexible scheduling option is available for associates who are unable to vote early, mail in their ballots or vote absentee as well as those living in states that require in-person voting.

What’s more, REI has launched an online hub of resources at REI.com/Vote. It includes a range of tools, including one that allows users to register to vote, another to check their registration status or request an absentee ballot, as well as resources to view state-by-state deadlines, voting guides from partner organizations and information for how to get involved in the election process. Customers are also invited to stop by the co-op’s stores to pick up free “Gear Up to Vote” stickers for their tumblers, laptops, cars and more to help spread the word.

“Every election is a chance to shape our future, a chance to create the change we want to see in our society,” president and CEO Eric Artz said in a statement. “As a co-op, we have the responsibility as an employer, member-centric organization and purpose-driven company to not only show up and advocate for civic participation, but to equip our employees and others in the best way we can.”

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He added, “Today, our nation is facing overlapping crises in public health, the economy, racial equity and climate change. Voting is one of the most important ways we all can spark meaningful change at the local, state and national levels.”

REI is a member of the Vote Early Day movement, which is supported by media companies, nonprofits, technology platforms, election administrators, influencers and other businesses to help eligible voters learn about their early voting options. With less than two months before state and national elections, the company has also joined Business for America’s Vote Safe 2020 initiative to advocate for secure mail-in voting and safe in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. It is also participating in the Time to Vote nonpartisan initiative of which sportswear giant Nike and denim purveyor Levi’s are a part.

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