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Is it okay to give staff time off to vote?

The answer is yes, absolutely!

However, employers do not have to give staff time off to vote in South Carolina.  There is no federal law requiring employers to allow their workers time to vote, but 30 states have chosen to grant protection to employees who want to vote during work hours.  For example, in Georgia, employees may take two hours out of the workday to vote provided they give notice to their employer, and they do not have two non-work hours either at the beginning or end of their shift while the polls are open.  However, they are not paid for those two hours and the employer may decide when the employee can take the two hours to vote.  Alabama also allows employees to take two unpaid hours to vote during the work day provided the employee starts work less than two hours after the polls open and finishes less than one hour before the polls close.  South Carolina has adopted no such law and employers are not required to offer any protection to employees who wish to vote.

Never fear, though! In South Carolina, if your work hours prevent you from experiencing the excitement of going to the polls on election day, you can still perform your civic duty via absentee ballot. You can apply for an absentee ballot online using this link, or you can apply in person at your county voter registration office.  Check out another one of our blogs for a more detailed explanation of voting absentee!  Also, don’t worry, you still get the “I voted” sticker when you vote absentee for that selfie – especially important as we’ve learned from writing these blogs you cannot take a selfie with your ballot!