Groennfell Meadery: How a Small Business Can Support their Employee’s Right to Vote

By Ricky the Meadmaker at Groennfell Meadery 

Small business is the core of our economy and voting is the heart of our democracy. As a business, we believe that it is our duty to support our staff’s right and ability to vote, and it’s a duty that we take very seriously.

At Groennfell Meadery, our policy has been very simple: Please vote. If you can’t vote before or after work, we will pay you while you run out to the polls. Big elections, primaries, it doesn’t matter. Please vote.

Then coronavirus showed up.

We’re lucky to live in the state of Vermont where so many systems have been put into place to make voting as accessible as possible, but this means that our responsibility as a Time to Vote company has become more complex. We need to be on top of new policies, absentee voting changes, accidental or purposeful disenfranchisement, and more.

So this year we’ve created a new role in the company!

For the three months leading up to the general election, we’ve had a Voting Rights Monitor on our staff. Sounds like a pretty big deal, right?

You want to know what she does? She reads the VBSR newsletter, skims the Time to Vote website every few days, and checks in with Democracy Works. Then, and here’s the tricky part, she tells the staff if there have been any changes. Also, she bugs people until they mail their ballots back in.

It takes her all of an hour per week to stay up to date with any voting updates. What’s important is to designate one person to be on top of it. Just like any other task at work, if it’s everybody’s job, then nobody is going to do it.

Chances are good that if you’re reading this newsletter, the only difficulty you’ll have in creating a Voting Rights Monitor will be choosing between the myriad employees who offer to take on this noble role.

Go ahead, be selfish, I know you want the job. Because, to be honest, our Voting Rights Monitor this year is Kelly, our CEO.