Since Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote in Georgia, Augusta University and Augusta University Health System want to take time this week to encourage all employees to perform your civic duty by voting in the 2020 Election.
You may forgo the potential for long lines and crowded polls by voting early between Oct. 12 and Oct. 30. Advanced voting dates and times vary by location, so be sure to check the Georgia Secretary of State website for details. Under the Elections menu, select the Voter Info. tab, then select Advanced Voting Location from the next menu. Finally, enter your county, and click the submit button for dates and locations for early voting near you.
On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Advanced voting (voting early) or using off-duty time before or after work should be considered first when deciding when to cast your ballot. In other words, employees should make reasonable efforts to vote during hours that do not disrupt the work day.
However, if your work schedule does not permit advanced voting or off-duty voting, the state of Georgia allows employees to take two consecutive hours of scheduled/approved time to vote. (An employee regularly scheduled to work from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. would have more than two off-duty hours to vote before or after work and would not be eligible for scheduled/approved time off.) If you know you will need to take time off from scheduled work hours to vote, please discuss it with your supervisor well in advance, in case others’ schedules need to be adjusted to cover any work responsibilities.
A couple of caveats to point out for health system employees is that (1) AU Health is authorized to specify the hours which an employee may use to vote, and (2) an AU Health employee must use his/her Paid Time Off (PTO) or take Leave Without Pay (LWOP) for the time taken to vote if it must be done during working hours.
University and health system leaders also want to remind employees that political activity on campus is not permitted. Furthermore, employees are not permitted to engage in such activity if it interferes with the performance of their duties. However, employees may seek and hold elective office other than at the state or federal level; or appointive office, when it does not conflict or interfere with the employee’s duties and responsibilities to AU Health, Augusta University or the University System of Georgia.
Georgia is also seeking poll workers as the pandemic has reduced the number this year. Find out more on this at Secure the Vote.
If you have any questions about voting in Georgia or policies regarding elections or political activity, please talk to your supervisor or contact a Human Resources representative at 706-721-1523.