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Noah Kaufman
June 22, 2017

In case you had not noticed America is neck deep in electing a president right now. But amidst all the amplified rhetoric, horse race polling and awesome guac bowls, one facet of American elections not reported on often enough is just how few of us participate in them. In the 2014, the last national election, less than 37 percent of voting-age Americans voted. In 2012, the last presidential election voter turnout was a better, but still pretty embarrassing 58.6 percent. And while we don’t often hear about private companies doing much to change these numbers, one that is doing its part is the world’s biggest coffee seller. Starbucks, and its CEO Howard Schultz are working with Brooklyn-based TurboVote, which helps make it easy for voters to register via computer and smartphone and reminds them when they need to go cast a ballot. Schultz announced the partnership in a letter to his 150,000 employees, who, if they all voted, would cast almost as many ballots as the entire state of Wyoming did last cycle.

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“Our intention is nonpartisan, and it is simple” Schultz told Politico. “By helping increase voter registration and participation, we believe more people will have an opportunity to make their voices count.” As Politico points out, it’s worth noting that Schultz has contributed to democratic campaigns in the past. But regardless of past political affiliations, helping facilitate voting is an activity worthy of praise. Someone get that man a free latte.

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