October 02, 2006
Wal-Mart's Voter Registration Drive
Posted by Lisa Fairfax

Last week Wal-Mart announced a voter registration drive for its employees, apparently the largest such drive by a private employer.  Wal-Mart is sending registration forms to its employees with prepaid postage.  Wal-Mart also is allowing its employees three hours of paid leave to visit the polls if their shifts do no allow for such time off. 

Of course their registration drive was met with criticism.  Wal-Mart's director of media relations does not deny that Wal-Mart's voter registration drive was prompted by recent criticism from politicians who have taken aim at Wal-Mart and its policies.  Others point out that Wal-Mart often has hampered the efforts of independent groups to conduct registration drives on Wal-Mart properties.  Regardless of the motivation, I think you have to be happy with any corporation's effort to get out the vote.  Arguably one of the reasons why Wal-Mart gets so much attention is because it is so large and hence its policies have a broad impact.  From that perspective, we should appreciate when Wal-Mart launches a program that has a positive impact on its employees and the larger community, and hope that its efforts prompt other large employers to do the same.

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