How Business Leaders Can Contribute to Civic Engagement This Election

This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman

Since states around the country began offering early voting in mid-September, inspiring images of citizens lining up to exercise their franchise have become commonplace. In some cities, they’re showing up well before dawn to claim their place in line. In others, they endure rainstorms or turn the wait in line into an outdoor dance party. 

The electorate’s enthusiasm extends to mail-in voting as well. According to the U.S. Elections Project, more than 90 million Americans requested absentee ballots this year, and as of October 30th, more than 55 million of them have already been returned.

All told, we’re seeing massive voter engagement, with predictions that “a record 150 million votes may be cast and turnout rates could be higher than in any presidential election since 1908.” 

This year, I hope business leaders in communities across the U.S. mirror this engagement. While many businesses and business leaders understandably refrain from explicit partisan engagement because their ultimate goal is to serve their communities at large, the current moment offers a clear chance to do that. And there’s a real need to do so as well.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the massive commercial shutdowns that have arisen because of it, the central role that business plays in America’s civic life has never been clearer. While business obviously forms the basis of our economic prosperity, our jobs and workplaces also create the relationships and routines that form a substantial part of our individual identities. In any (Read more…)