In Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went further, issuing an executive order that grants eight hours of leave for employees to work the polls for November’s general election, with an additional eight hours to work a run-off election in January.
In both instances, the hours can be used either on the day of the election or during early voting.
Bottoms said the move was necessary to avoid a repeat of the June primary election, which was delayed twice due to the pandemic and was then marred with long wait times and missing absentee ballots.
And in St. Petersburg, Florida, city employees can take two hours to volunteer anytime between Oct. 19, when early voting begins, and Election Day on Nov. 3.
Other cities will utilize their employees in different ways.
Last month, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said all city workers will be diverted to the city clerk’s office to help process an estimated 200,000 mail-in ballots on Election Day, a task he said would take roughly 10,000 hours of work.
“We are basically shutting down city government for two days,” he said, “and putting all the city employees at the clerk’s disposal.”
Kate Elizabeth Queram writes for Route Fifty, a digital publication that covers news, technology, innovation and best practices in state, county and municipal governments across the United States.