Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is making it easier for employees to vote.
The coffee giant’s CEO sent a letter to all employees on Monday about the company’s role in increasing voter registration and participation, reports Politico.
“It does not matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent,” the letter reads. “Our intention is nonpartisan, and it is simple: by helping to increase voter registration and participation, we believe more people will have an opportunity to make their voices count.”
Starbucks is making a TurboVote digital tool that allows for speedy voter registration accessible to the company’s 114,000-plus US employees — the equivilant of about 20% of Wyoming’s state population.
Schultz writes that he was inspired to emphasise voting after a February forum with employees in Brooklyn. Employees said that making “people aware of the importance to vote” was one of the top ways that Starbucks could elevate citizenship in the US.
Starbucks and Schultz are known for politically-oriented initiatives. In 2008, the coffee chain gave customers who said they voted on Election Day a free cup of coffee. More recently, Starbucks launched the much-maligned “race together” campaign, which encouraged baristas to talk about race relations with customers and write “race together” on coffee cups.
There were even rumours last year that Schultz was considering a campaign for the White House himself, which he shut down with an August op-ed in the New York Times. However, that doesn’t mean that the CEO is loving the current batch of presidential candidates. In February, Schultz said that the US presidential election has turned into a “circus” and he has “grave concern” about the country’s future.
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