Securityplus closing on Election Day to give workers time to vote

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Securityplus Federal Credit Union in Baltimore will close on Nov. 3, Election Day, to allow employees paid time off to vote.

The $426 million-asset credit union “is strongly encouraging staff to use the time granted to exercise their right to vote, helping others cast their vote or even volunteering to work at polling stations,” it said Thursday.

Voter participation in the U.S. historically has been low and voters frequently cite being too busy with work and personal obligations to cast a ballot, according to the press release. About 60% of the eligible voters cast a ballot in 2016 general election, according to the United States Elections Project.

A number of financial institutions, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Arizona Federal Credit Union, have joined Time to Vote, a nonpartisan group that encourages employers to give workers time off to vote. The number of credit unions closing for Election Day this year is small for now, but it could grow between now and November, similar to how CUs shut their doors in observance of Juneteenth this year as more institutions announced plans to do so.

“2020 has certainly been a very difficult year for everyone,” Brett Noll, the CEO of Secrurityplus, said in a press release. “The election process in 2020 may incur additional challenges due to the pandemic situation or other unforeseen factors. Our organization wants to do everything we can to remove any stress or hardship our employees may face when casting their ballot or helping their family members get to the polling station.”

The day off is expected to be a one-time event, though management will consider making it permanent if Election Day becomes a federal holiday.

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