I Voted

Taking time off to vote

BY EDITOR

I Voted

If you happen to work long hours on Election Day, your employer is required to give you time off to vote. You must have at least two hours to vote - if you're normally scheduled to work from poll-open to poll-close, you get two (paid!) hours off at some point during that shift. If you're normally scheduled to work, say, from an hour after poll-open to an hour before poll-close, you get an additional hour (or a two-hour break - it's up to your employer), again paid, to take care of your civic duty.

This only affects you if you don't have any two-hour time to vote outside of regular working hours - if your shift starts at 8 or later or ends at 5 or earlier, you are considered to have enough time to vote.

Here's the statute straight from the horse's mouth:

25-418. Leave allowance for employees to vote; obstruction of voting privilege, penalty. Any person entitled to vote at an election conducted by a county election officer in this state shall, on the day of such election, be entitled to absent himself from any service or employment in which he is then engaged or employed for a period of not to exceed two (2) consecutive hours between the time of opening and closing of polls: Provided, That if the polls are open before commencing work or after terminating work but the period of time the polls are so open is less than two (2) consecutive hours, he shall only be entitled to absent himself from such service or employment for such a period of time which, when added to the period of time the polls are so open, will not exceed two hours; and such voter shall not because of so absenting himself be liable to any penalty, nor shall deductions be made, on account of such absence, from his usual salary or wages.

The employer may specify the particular time during the day which said employee may absent himself as aforesaid except such specified time shall not include any time during the regular lunch period.

Obstruction of voting privilege is (a) intentionally obstructing an employee in his or her exercise of voting privilege or (b) imposing a penalty upon an employee exercising his or her voting privilege under this section.

Obstruction of voting privilege is a class A misdemeanor.

Visitors OCTOBER 30, 2016

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