Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz shakes the hand of a Starbucks barista.
Photograph by Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
By Michal Addady
March 10, 2016

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is promoting civic engagement among his employees.

In a letter to U.S. Starbucks (sbux) partners obtained by Politico, Schultz announced that he would be making the voting process easier for the company’s 150,000 employees. They now have access to a digital tool on TurboVote which will allow them to quickly and securely register to vote using a computer or mobile device. They can also sign up for reminders about both local and national elections.

Schultz cites 2014 Census data which found that 60% of U.S. citizens did not vote. Two of the reasons given were the registration process and that they simply forgot. The TurboVote tool will hopefully help alleviate those obstacles for Starbucks employees.

The Starbucks CEO got the idea from an Open Forum that the company held last month. When he asked Starbucks partners what the company could do to elevate citizenship, one man responded that it would be “phenomenal” to “make people aware of the importance to vote.” Schultz added that many appeared to agree with that sentiment.

“It does not matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent,” Schultz, who has previously supported Democratic campaigns, wrote in the letter. “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.” He does not only want people to participate in the upcoming presidential election, but also in local elections as well including those for city councils and school boards.


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