Anyone who follows electoral politics knows how poorly the US stacks up to the rest of the industrialized world in terms of both voter registration and turnout. As an organization dedicated to making better public policy, the lack of voter participation troubles us deeply. Our nation’s policymaking apparatus only works well if people are engaged in the process. While the broader tech community has done a great job of becoming more invested in the political sphere over the past few years, we need to do more to encourage general political participation. Considering the massive impact policies like broadband expansion, net neutrality, and immigration reform have on virtually everyone in the country, the tech sector should do everything possible to encourage everyone to actively participate in our democracy. Thankfully, the tech community has taken this challenge head on. Engine is proud to announce that we are joining two important campaigns to encourage greater civic engagement and electoral participation.
Free Ride To Vote
For many, simply getting to the polls can be an impediment to participating in an election. To help mitigate this problem, Engine is sponsoring a project in conjunction with Open Collective to crowdsource funds that will subsidize free rides with transportation network companies to polling locations. By donating online through the #FreeRideToVote page on Open Collective, you can sponsor rides that will help voters in key swing states get to the polls. The program will run up until election day, so there’s plenty of time to make a difference.
Take Off Election Day
In most states, polling places are open at statutorily mandated times that happen to fall principally during hours most people are at work. Not surprisingly, finding a way to get off of work to vote can be a major impediment for many citizens. A person should not have to find a way to skip work to participate in our democracy. That is why we’re proud to be joining more than 250 companies in the Take Off Election Day campaign by giving our employees the day off on November 8 to vote. We encourage startups everywhere to join in this non-partisan effort to drive voter participation. The next Administration and Congress will have an enormous impact on the future of the startup sector. If we want to have a voice in the direction of the next Congress, we must make sure that our voices our heard in the most direct way possible.