For our policy to work, remote work can work

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The onslaught of Republican state legislatures that pass laws to diminish the voting power of minorities and other Democratic constituencies continues. We are now at some 21 states where Republican legislatures have passed bills signed by Republican governors that seek to limit voting in certain constituencies to help advance Republican Party interests, which is particularly troublesome in major Swing states where this happened.

Democrats have only one possible answer to this, and that is to pass federal legislation that will not only create standards for challenging these laws, but address their most pernicious elements, those that allow legislatures to States to interfere politically with the certification and counting of election results in a way that could lead to real theft of future elections. All of this, of course, is fueled by the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, which Donald Trump and most Republicans wrongly argue, when in fact they have been thwarted in their own attempts to steal the elections.

For federal legislation to pass, Democrats will need to build a 51-vote coalition ready to create a voting exception to the filibuster rule to fight the big lie. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona hold the cards on whether or not Democrats will have the votes to do so. Although Senator Manchin has proposed compromise legislation, that does not mean that he will support overturning the filibuster rule even for his own bill, and his compromise bill does not currently contain a compromise bill. provisions to counter new state laws that make it much easier for Republicans to achieve and overrule legitimate election results.

When Georgia passed the first of these laws to decrease minority voting, there was a massive uprising by CEOs denouncing these actions. Since then, however, CEOs have spoken much less publicly and appear unlikely to enter the battle to circumvent the filibuster rule, which will be an intensely partisan political war. Yet I firmly believe that most CEOs, regardless of their political party affiliation, believe that no longer being a country genuinely governed by fair electoral laws, while still allowing the worst of these state legislative actions Republican, would be extremely problematic. to our entire government system, not to mention the potential long-term impact it would have on the economy.

The American flag flies atop the United States Capitol.
Samuel Corum / Getty Images

I wrote a column a few months ago saying there was an answer to this, where CEOs can be extremely helpful in thwarting both Republican legislative actions, as well as the deadlock in Congress, by pulling a lesson from what we learned about remote working during the pandemic. Every large company has learned that it can maintain operations efficiently by allowing workers to be remote, never entering their offices, and in many cases, allowing many employees to live wherever they want. So I suggested that CEOs allow their head office employees to relocate to states they would prefer to live in – whether for lower taxes, lower cost of living, better weather, or whatever. another reason – and to create a “great corporate migration” of voters working remotely from home at no real cost to those companies in terms of moving headquarters, renting new offices, or doing anything other than just saying to these employees that they could keep their jobs and work from home in the state in which they wished to live.

To assess the practical potential of this plan, I worked with Morning Consult, a global enterprise technology firm specializing in intelligent data, to determine how interested the company’s employees would be in working remotely from a remote location. other state. The results confirm that there is not only very strong interest in corporate employees being able to do so, but at levels that would add significant additional Democratic votes to just about every swing state. In many cases, the wave of remote worker voting Democrats would potentially more than compensate for voter suppression laws that might otherwise affect the vote. Additionally, in some of the narrowest-margin states in 2020, such as Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin, this migration could add to Democratic totals in ways large enough to put the ability to undo out of reach. the legitimate outcome of elections in states where Republicans have put in place new election laws that would allow them to do so.

Morning Consult results indicate that there are over 7.2 million workers who are still working remotely in their jobs and wish to continue doing so but have an interest in moving to another state. When workers were asked if particular swing states had some appeal, and then the results were further filtered by likely voters, the potential to shift the voting results into each of the swing states was very significant. Democratic telecommuters wanting to move to another state outnumber Republicans 2 to 1. For example, Florida would potentially gain 1.35 million likely new Democratic voters, compared to 814,000 likely new Republican voters. The margin of 533,000 voters would more than make up for the Trump margin of 371,000 voters in 2020 in that state.

In the swing states closest to the last election – Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, without which Joe Biden would not have won the Electoral College – the additional Democratic margin of 661,000 votes, 988,000 votes and 454 000 votes respectively would massively increase which was a total margin in those three states of 44,000 votes for Biden (see table below). Since respondents could name several states that they believed had “at least some attraction” for traveling and working remotely, these results cannot be interpreted as meaning each the state in the graph below would gain the indicated level graphs of the democratic margin. Margin gains would be spread across states, but a given state could be attractive enough to achieve that gain when taken on its own. If guidelines or advice were given as to where workers were allowed to travel between multiple states that they found attractive, the increase in the number of Democratic voters in each of the hub states could be attributed to an impact extremely substantial.

Morning consultation survey
Morning consultation survey

Younger people were more interested in moving to another state if they could work remotely, but the appeal was strong at all ages. When certain economics are added to the employee’s offer to entice them to work remotely from another state, such as a $ 10,000 cash incentive, Democratic margins increase even more substantially. In most cases, by 200,000 to 300,000 Democratic votes or more. Considering some of the higher cost states that workers would leave, the survey shows whether the same salary employees currently receive would be guaranteed when they move, some states that are not known, for example, to have great weather, like Pennsylvania. and Ohio, a new wave of calls. The $ 10,000 financial incentive has enough pulling power for remote workers who wish to work in any of the swing states which, with the exception of Texas, all of the other swing states which have opted for Trump in. 2020 – Florida, North Carolina and Ohio – could see an increase in Democratic votes enough to bring the state into the Democratic column.

One thing to note is that Florida was by far the most popular state to move to, and if companies did not limit the number of employees they would allow to move to which states, Florida would see a massive increase in its population of remote workers as part of this plan. . If the desire of companies were to let employees move only to their state of first choice and not direct the flow of employees to other choices, it is very likely that Florida Republican margins across the board. the state would be totally overwhelmed by these new workers.

While some considered it a radical thought when I first proposed it, this plan should be placed in the historical context of the early to mid-1900s, when factories in the North poured out financial incentives for black workers in the south to migrate north, and these large migrations have dramatically changed demographics in a number of northern states. Given the experience of businesses and employees during the pandemic, this comparison proposition is not only not radical, but something that could easily work to make employees’ lifestyles more in line with their desires, while at the same time reducing the company’s office space expenses even more than those already planned by companies seeking to implement more flexible remote working conditions.

We are heading down a path where former President Trump created a loyalty litmus test that requires Republicans at all levels to not only adhere to the Big Lie, but also to create mechanisms for Republicans to steal elections from there. ‘to come up. If Congress does not act, and that action at this point continues to seem questionable, then our democracy and our thriving economy, founded on being a country anchored in the rule of law, demand that CEOs find a way to bypass the political process in a way that costs them nothing or their shareholders. This plan is highly achievable, but can only come to life with the CEO’s key leadership. This leadership requires demonstrating that American businesses will not tolerate this undemocratic attack by the Republican Party – the so-called business party – which it plans with full clarity. To make our policy work, remote working can simply work.

Tom rogers is an editor for News week, the founder of CNBC and one CNBC donor. He also established MSNBC, is the former CEO of TiVo, currently executive chairman of Engine Media and former senior legal adviser to a congressional committee.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.


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