Today, states have different rules for how to treat employee absences for voting. According to Thompson Reuters's FindLaw, 23 states require companies to provide some paid time off to vote if the polls are not open for a two or three-hour stretch during nonworking hours.


Eight other states have basic laws that encourage companies to provide time to vote but don't provide for paid time off: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Many other states don't have any specific law allowing people to take time away from work to vote: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.

The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also don't have any specific laws in place, and Cartwright's bill is backed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Res. Comm. Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico).