Employers required to allow time to vote

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Voting is a right in the United States, and Georgia state law ensures that work doesn’t get in the way of that right.

Georgia Code Section 21-2-404 states that employers must allow employees two hours to cast their vote in any municipal, county, state or federal political party primary or election. If the employee’s shift begins two hours after polling places open or ends two hours before polling places close, the employer does not have to allow time off.

Lynn Bailey, the director of the Richmond County Board of Elections, said she has never had any complaints about employers not allowing workers time off for voting.

“I think everyone works it around their work day,” said Barbara Jacobs, the office administrator for Martinez dentist Andrew Allgood.

Jacobs said she plans to vote on her way in to work, and Allgood usually does it on his lunch break. If you plan ahead, she said, there shouldn’t be any reason to leave the office.

“It’s not really an issue for us,” she said.

Ben Brewton, a partner at Tucker Everitt Long Brewton & Lanier law firm in Augusta, said his office does not have any kind of policy about voting during the workday. As attorneys, Brewton said he and his partners work in close quarters with the jury system and encourage their employees to participate in their community in any way they can. As long as employees get their work done, Brewton said, he did not see an issue with employees taking time out of the work day to vote.

“If someone needed time during the day to vote, we would not prohibit that,” he said. “We are most interested in everyone doing their civic duty.”

Comments (8) Add comment
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David Parker
7923
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David Parker 03/06/12 - 10:03 am
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nice

nice

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 03/06/12 - 02:35 pm
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i propose we all use the bus
Unpublished

i propose we all use the bus instead of our cars in the two-hour vote break. how many could make it to their polling place and back to work in two hours?

raul
5321
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raul 03/06/12 - 04:41 pm
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Would the 2 hours off, if

Would the 2 hours off, if required, be paid or unpaid time?

@Broadstreetnarrowmind. JP, why don't you try the bus and let us know how that works out for ya?

Riverman1
86890
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Riverman1 03/06/12 - 04:46 pm
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I can assure you there are

I can assure you there are many people in Augusta who CAN'T get time off for various reasons in spite of the law.

happychimer
18567
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happychimer 03/06/12 - 09:17 pm
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The law says they can take

The law says they can take off to vote.If they don't take off work to vote then it is because they don't want to vote.

Riverman1
86890
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Riverman1 03/06/12 - 09:21 pm
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Happychimer, there are jobs

Happychimer, there are jobs where you CAN'T take off. Now realistically the polls are usually opened early and late enough, but if the job is a long one, it just doesn't happen that the person gets off. You wouldn't want me to leave my job...trust me.

happychimer
18567
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happychimer 03/06/12 - 09:52 pm
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If you think you can't take

If you think you can't take off work, then get an absentee ballot. I still say the law says a person can get off work to vote.

Riverman1
86890
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Riverman1 03/06/12 - 10:00 pm
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Absentee ballots and voting

Absentee ballots and voting before or after work will absolutely work. Demanding time off during the day, not so much.

KSL
134308
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KSL 03/06/12 - 10:18 pm
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Agree totally, RM1

Agree totally, RM1

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