Serious staff shortages continue to plague hospitals, nursing homes, government, and private industries more than two years into the pandemic. Polling places in June’s Illinois primary election were also woefully understaffed.

More than ever, it is vital for private-sector employers to become engaged in civic affairs. Corporate sponsorships in the public’s interest have grown, along with their financial campaign contributions directed toward achieving their private interests.

Businesses could have a greater civic impact if they allowed employees paid time off to serve on Election Day as non-partisan election judges. Our election judges get non-partisan, in-person training, and are crucial for fair and efficient elections. In times when corporations are strategizing how to retain and recruit employees, paid-time-off policy to serve on Election Day demonstrates a corporate commitment to civic participation.

The general election in November is not far away. Corporations and businesses should step up and support employees who wish to contribute to their communities.

Andrea Raila
Oak Park

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