‘You can’t put a price on democracy’: Salvatore’s to close all locations on Election Day to give employees opportunity to volunteer at polls

MADISON, Wis.– Just six weeks from Election Day, large companies and corporations are choosing to make November 3 a holiday, giving employees time to vote.

Salvatore’s, a local restaurant, is taking that movement one step further.

“So many of the election workers are elderly folks who are at extensively high risk due to COVID-19, and I thought that it would be a good incentive on our part to offer our employees to volunteer as election workers,” owner Patrick DePula said.

About six employees signed up to volunteer as poll workers since the opportunity was announced last week.

“That’s going to cover Sun Prairie, Monona, and the City of Madison,” DePula said. “We’ve got restaurants in each of those communities.”

Not only will his employees have time to volunteer, but also to vote.

“Voting is your right, and we in the United States see such a low participation rate compared to other industrialized nations,” DePula said. “I think it’s one thing that employers can do is really give people the opportunity to vote without having to worry about coming to work that day.”

It’s not easy to close four restaurants, especially during a pandemic, but DePula said it’s needed.

“You can’t put a price on democracy, and I think that’s the important thing to talk about right now,” DePula said.

DePula said he hopes his lead will set an example for others.

“We’re proud to do our part and this is something that we’re going to continue to do in an ongoing fashion for as long as we’re around, and hopefully other people will follow suit and start doing something similar,” DePula said.

Those who are interested in volunteering at the polls on election day can contact their clerk’s office or locate an application online.