Old Navy is headed to the polls.
But the retailer, owned by parent company Gap Inc., isn’t just recommending employees vote — it’s also encouraging them to work as poll workers on Election Day, Nov. 3
“We are constantly inspired by our store teams, with their passion for community work and fostering a sense of belonging both in and outside of our store walls,” Nancy Green, head of Old Navy, said in a statement Tuesday. “Every voice in this country matters and deserves to be heard at the polls and if we at Old Navy can be even a small part of making that process more accessible to the communities we call home, we are on board.”
The news comes as American voters continue to fear large crowds and in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. About 65 percent of American voters say absentee voting or the option to vote early should be available to everyone, according to a June survey by the Pew Research Center.
Meanwhile, President Trump is continuing with his efforts to stop any expansions of mail-in voting, suggesting widespread cheating would occur and likening it to “a roadmap for disaster.” Trump even threatened to withhold funding from Michigan and Nevada earlier this year for expanding mail-in voting services.
“Eighty million unsolicited ballots are impossible for election centers to tabulate accurately,” the President tweeted in August. “The Democrats know this better than anyone else. The fraud and abuse will be an embarrassment to our country. Hopefully the courts will stop this scam!”
As a workaround, some companies are offering up large event spaces and buildings for in-person voting. In August, the NBA said it would convert its facilities in every city where the league has franchises and controls the arena property, into voting locations for the general election. Other retailers also are converting their stores into voter registration centers.
Old Navy, for its part, is working with nonpartisan groups Civic Alliance and Power the Polls to help staff polling places nationwide. The apparel and accessories brand has roughly 50,000 field employees in 1,000 U.S. store locations. Associates who volunteer on Election Day will receive the equivalent to eight hours of pay, as well as compensation from their location polling jurisdiction.