Twitter says it will give its US workers election day in the future and workers around the world have paid free time to vote in national elections.
The San Francisco company said that if employees don’t have enough time to vote outside their working hours in their country, it will compensate them for the time they need to do so.
Twitter Inc. stressed, however, that employees responsible for election-related work, including the security of their service, will continue to work these days.
The move comes after Twitter announced that it would be a paid holiday on June 19, or Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the US.
The U.S. is a bit of a star among industrial democracies in holding weekday elections, according to the Pew Research Center, which said in 2018 that 27 out of the 36 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development hold their national elections for the weekend so that people have more time to vote.
Others, such as Israel or South Korea, hold elections on weekdays, but turn them into national holidays so that people don’t have to choose between working and voting. Pew also found that about two-thirds of Americans are in favor of making Election Day a national holiday.
So why are US presidential elections held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November? The decision dates back to 1845, when the U.S. was still primarily an agricultural country and November was a convenient time for rural workers to go to the polls, a State Department interpreter said. The autumn harvest was over, but winter was still far away. Tuesday, meanwhile, gave people plenty of time to travel when they left on Sunday to go to the polls. Lawmakers also wanted to prevent elections from falling on November 1, which is All Saints’ Day in the Catholic religion, an important holiday.
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