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PagerDuty Invests in National Voter Registration Day: It’s Time to Be #VoteReady

by Olivia Khalili September 22, 2020 | 5 min read

In the United States, National Voter Registration Day, today, marks the largest, single-day effort of the year to register voters and involve them in the political process. In the 2016 U.S. general election, over 65 million people—or one in four eligible voters in the country—were unregistered.1 This means critical and diverse voices were and are left unheard in determining election outcomes and subsequent political representation.

To ensure that every eligible American citizen—regardless of geography, race, age or mobility—has access to vote, PagerDuty.org is investing in a new portfolio of Voter Engagement grantees through philanthropic investment, product donation, and employee volunteerism. These organizations address the myriad and interconnected obstacles to voter engagement and access, with a focus on ensuring representation among Black, brown, and COVID-19 vulnerable voters.

The global pandemic, which is disproportionately affecting communities of color, and persistent racial violence perpetrated on these communities are reminders of the systemic racism that continues to permeate our society. This carries over to voter suppression tactics that disenfranchise eligible voters and make it more difficult to cast a ballot. The suppression of minority voters has effects beyond the polls—it impacts our families, our way of life, and serves as an obstacle to a more fair and just America. In response, PagerDuty.org pledged $500,000 earlier this year towards creating Just & Equitable Communities, with an explicit focus on combating systemic discrimination and building a more equitable and representative society.

This cohort of investments is centered on voter engagement, with a vision to strengthen the rights and influence of those whose voices have been dimmed. These organizations offer tech solutions to facilitate voter registration and vote-by-mail for COVID-19 vulnerable populations, seek to close the race and age gap by promoting virtual activation via text banking, and uphold voter rights at the polls. As a Pledge 1% company, our support reflects a conscious effort to give beyond the check by utilizing all the resources in our toolbox, including donation of product and employee volunteer time. We also seek to amplify the reach of our nonprofit partners by engaging our PagerDuty customers and stakeholders.

We are proud to support the following organizations as part of our initial portfolio of Voter Engagement grantees:

NAACP is deploying a blend of data-driven turnout tactics in six key battleground states to engage infrequent Black voters and encourage higher confidence and participation in voting by mail. Join us at PagerDuty Summit to hear NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson speak about the importance of individual voting and voter mobilization.

Democracy Works uses PagerDuty’s platform (via our Impact Pricing program) to power its digital operations and offer a suite of tools that help promote a healthy democracy. Its TurboVote product is used by scores of national organizations to easily and securely register voters in local, state, and national elections, while its Ballot Scout tool facilitates and protects vote-by-mail, an increasing need for COVID-19 vulnerable populations. Join more than 6 million Americans and register today with Turbovote to Be #VoteReady.

Election Protection is working to safeguard the freedom to vote for every eligible citizen at critical moments. They operate voter helplines such as 866-Our-Vote to provide real-time response, and crowdsource data from volunteers to track and respond to election irregularities.

When We All Vote aims to close the age and race voting gap, and change the culture around voting through grassroots partnerships and national text-banking programs.

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund’s team of justice advocates are active in both election-centric work such voter protection, barriers to voting, and the Voting Rights Act, in addition to the ongoing protection of civil rights through census, redistricting, and disfranchisement.

These grants are part of a broader set of racial equity and justice commitments we’ve made as a business. In June, we made contributions to the NAACP and to Black Lives Matter, expanded our volunteer time-off policy to support voting and nonpartisan voter turnout, introduced new KPIs to increase voter participation across our global employee base, and celebrated Juneteenth as a day for all Dutonians to take action for social justice. In August, we announced our role as a fellow signatory in SurveyMonkey’s open letter requiring a commitment to diversity from our largest vendors and partners. Earlier this month, we signed on to the Board Challenge, committing to appointing a Black director within the next 12 months.

We’ve also joined the Civic Alliance, a growing coalition of more than 150 companies that aims to strengthen U.S. democracy by supporting safe, healthy, and trusted elections, and by inspiring employees and customers to participate in civic life. With these steps, as well as other work alongside our colleagues in investor relations, hiring, and talent development, we are using our collective influence to drive change and advance equity.

Join Us

As we exert every effort to maximize our impact, it is clear that this cannot be a solitary endeavor. We encourage all who are reading to join us on this journey—sign up for TurboVote, volunteer to increase voter turnout with NAACP or When We All Vote, monitor the polls with Election Protection, or sign up to be a poll worker via Power the Polls. We need your help to work toward a democracy that’s more participatory and representative, and a system that works for everyone.

If you’re interested in building a voter engagement program at your company, check out our Get Out the Vote 2020 Playbook, in collaboration with Pledge 1% and Twilio.