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Atlanta mayor: City employees will get paid time off to vote

By Dan Klepal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Thursday that the city’s 8,000 employees will receive up to four hours of paid time off to vote early in the November presidential election, and will get up to 8 hours of paid leave to volunteer as poll workers.

Bottoms said the city’s chief operating officer, Joshua Williams, is working with elections officials in Fulton and DeKalb counties to identify other ways the city can help remove barriers to voting.

“While the city of Atlanta is not responsible for the administration of elections in the city, we certainly take our responsibility very seriously to make sure people are able to exercise their Constitutional right to be able to vote,” Bottoms said at her weekly media briefing.

Both Fulton and DeKalb counties experienced a multitude of problems during the June primary election, mostly involving long lines and too few poll workers, most of whom were unfamiliar with new voting machines.

Major employers across the country — from Apple and Uber to Facebook and Verizon — have announced similar policies of providing paid time off to vote and volunteer at polling locations. Some other governments, including Kansas City, Mo., and the state of New York, have also announced similar policies.