The outdoor clothing company Patagonia made the rare move of endorsing two Democratic Senate candidates on Friday — Jon Tester of Montana and Jacky Rosen of Nevada. It’s part of a larger trend in corporate America to get employees out to vote.
Kaiser Permanente, Southwest Airlines and Tyson Foods are just three companies that have signed onto a new campaign this year called Time to Vote.
The nonpartisan effort is focused on increasing voter turnout by removing barriers for employees to get to the polls. At Patagonia, employees will get the day off, while Tyson Foods — in a company-wide initiative for the first time — is hosting voter registration drives and providing details to employees on early voting.
For Patagonia, participating in the Time to Vote campaign is just part of what they’re doing around this year’s election, according to Corley Kenna, Senior Director of Communications.
“Democracy only works when you vote, so we are encouraging our community to vote and, like in years past, to vote with the planet in mind,” Kenna said.
Patagonia is also hosting store events about local issues and candidates until early November.
Kenna said more than 300 companies have signed onto the Time to Vote campaign.
Tyson Foods is one of the larger corporations involved. They employ 122,000 people across the country.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.