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Can you take time off from work to vote on Election Day?

Businesses nationwide have joined the "Time to Vote" coalition, which aims to increase voter participating by working with employers to allow workers time to vote.

You've heard us say it on Local 5: make a plan to vote.

But what if you're scheduled to work on Nov. 3? It's important to know how to get time off to vote.

And if you vote on Election Day, can you submit for paid time off? 

According to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, the answer is maybe. 

If you don't have three consecutive hours when you're not required to be at work during the time when polls open to when they close on Election Day (7 a.m.-9 p.m.), you are entitled to get three hours off from work in order to cast your ballot.

You need to put in a written request for time off to vote with your boss or supervisor and do it before Election Day.

Remember, it's all about making a plan.

You cannot get penalized for taking time off to vote if you follow those steps.

Local 5 looked into some Iowa companies who already give employees time off to vote.

Kum & Go gives two hours of paid leave for voting and free in-store meals for all store associates on Nov. 3.

Wells Fargo employees get up to three hours away from work to vote too.

Hundreds of companies across the nation are part of a coalition called "Time to Vote." It is a business-led initiative that aims to increase voter participation by working with employees to allow them time to vote on Election Day.

Click/tap here to access Local 5's Voter Guide or text VOTE to 515-457-1026. Live election results will be available Nov. 3 at this link.

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