WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, a group of Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced H.R. 7489, the Time Off to Vote Act. Led by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) and Andy Levin (D-Mich.), the new legislation requires employers to provide employees with at least two hours of paid leave to vote in federal elections.
“No one should be forced to choose between earning their full paycheck or participating in our democracy. As a working mom, I know how tough it is to carve out time to vote between the demands of work, family, and life,” said Rep. Williams in a statement. H.R. 7489 would standardize the current patchwork of laws across the country, with 28 states in the 2020 election requiring employers to grant some time off to vote, often unpaid.
There are 33 additional Democratic representatives already signed on as cosponsors of H.R. 7489. It is unclear whether this narrow bill would face better prospects in the U.S. Senate where voting rights legislation approved by the House has been continuously blocked by Republicans.