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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An overwhelming number of companies this year are giving employees paid time off to work the polls on Election Day.

Why it matters: The push from corporate America comes amid a shortage of poll workers, with many older people who would typically do the job planning to stay home because of COVID-19.

What's going on: Old Navy, Tory Burch and dozens of other companies are paying employees for the time they use to volunteer as poll workers on November 3.

  • Facebook is giving its employees additional paid time off if they volunteer on Election Day, as it works to stamp out election misinformation on its own platform.

Between the lines: A slew of companies this summer said they would go to their greatest lengths yet to ensure employees were incentivized to vote during working hours. These announcements take voting-related initiatives even further.

  • More than 800 corporations have signed onto the "Time to Vote" pledge to allocate time for employees to vote during the workday. Many of those companies have said they would give workers paid time off to vote.
  • Uber said election days around the world would be considered a company holiday, while Best Buy is limiting its store hours.

Driving the news: Power the Polls, an initiative that launched to address the shortage of poll workers, partnered with over 70 companies including Starbucks to connect people who want to work the polls with the counties training the would-be workers.

  • The group signed up 350,000 people to volunteer to work polls, surpassing its initial goal of 250,000, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The big picture: Major employers are stepping up to fill a void from the government in helping to ensure that the elections will be safe and fair.

  • Some of the largest tech companies, like Snapchat and Facebook, are also leveraging their reach to encourage younger people on social media to consider becoming poll workers or to direct them to polling locations.

The bottom line: Businesses are giving unprecedented leeway for its employees to vote and help during what could be America's most complicated Election Day yet.

Go deeper: Protests push companies to bolster voting efforts

Go deeper

Dec 20, 2020 - Health

CDC panel says adults over 75, essential workers should be next in line for vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Falmouth Health Centre on Dec. 20 in Falmouth, England. Photo: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images

Americans 75 and older along with roughly 30 million "frontline essential workers" should be next in line to get coronavirus vaccinations, a group of experts that make recommendations to the CDC voted on Sunday, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Adults over 75 are eight times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus. Essential workers are at an elevated risk for COVID-19 infections and are disproportionately people of color, who face higher mortality rates from the coronavirus than white people.

1 hour ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten the embassy's ability to assist Americans.

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