2020 Election: Facebook will pay employees who work the polls

2020 Election: Facebook will pay employees who work the polls
Coffee mugs adorned with the Facebook logo stand at the Facebook Innovation Hub on February 24, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The Facebook Innovation Hub is a temporary exhibition space where the company is showcasing some of its newest technologies and projects. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

With less than two months until Election Day, state officials are finalizing plans for polling locations and procedures with special attention focused on how to make voting a safe experience in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the outstanding tasks in many cities is the need for poll workers.

Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram have been promoting resources related to voting on each platform in recent weeks. Users can find links in each app to register to vote, request a mail-in ballot and see opportunities to become a poll worker in their respective cities.

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In addition to encouraging users to get involved, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday he’s also offering U.S.-based Facebook employees paid time off to serve as poll workers.

According to CNN, the PTO is “extra” and would not pull from workers' existing vacation time.

“We’re less than two months away from the US elections, and we are seeing a massive shortage of poll workers to staff voting stations,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post. Shortages can lead to hours-long waits at the polls, which makes it harder for people to participate in the democratic process. It is estimated that almost half a million poll workers will be needed this year -- especially due to the ongoing COVID pandemic.

“With COVID affecting our communities, this election will be unlike any other we’ve seen. We are doing everything we can to help as many people as possible register and make their voice heard at the ballot box. If you plan to serve as a poll worker, check out the poll worker section in the Voting Information Center, which you can find in your menu bar on Facebook.”