We talk to Tory — above wearing our Vote t-shirt — about the importance of going to the polls.
Why create this t-shirt?
Today, voting can be taken for granted, resulting in consistently low turnout in the U.S. In the 2016 general election, 58% of Americans voted and only 40% voted in the 2014 midterms. That’s dangerous. When we choose not to vote — when we choose not to facilitate voting by the broadest numbers of people possible — we risk weakening our democracy.
To raise awareness about the importance of hitting the polls in the upcoming midterm elections, we at Tory Burch have created a limited-edition Vote t-shirt, available in our U.S. stores and at toryburch.com. We are thrilled that 100% net proceeds of the Tory Burch Vote t-shirt benefit I am a voter., a nonpartisan initiative that aims to increase voter participation nationwide.
Tell us about giving your U.S. employees paid time off to work at the polls…
This November, the U.S. faces a severe shortage of poll workers—essential volunteers who staff polling sites on Election Day, issuing ballots to registered voters, monitoring voting equipment, explaining how to vote, or counting votes. This, coupled with reduced numbers of people allowed inside the polls because of COVID, will result in incredibly long lines and threaten citizens’ ability to exercise their right to vote on November 3rd.
To ensure that everyone on our U.S. team can go to the polls, we will close all U.S. Retail stores and Corporate offices at 3pm on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3). And our DC will also be closed for the day. In addition, we are giving the day off with pay to any U.S. employee who volunteers as a poll worker.
Democracy requires participation and we want to make sure we can each play our role.
What are your first memories of voting?
I was a freshman in college the first time I voted. A group of us were going to a rally at the University of Pennsylvania and decided to go to the polls together. I remember how excited I was to make a difference. Since then, I have voted every election, local and national — and I still feel the same excitement and power when I step up to the voting booth.