Johnnie Walker Partners With Vote.org To Support Increased Voter Participation Through Keep Walking America Campaign

The upcoming 2018 United States elections, like any other, are important for the future of our country. To encourage and celebrate voter turnout as an act of moving forward, Johnnie Walker is partnering with non-profit organization ElectionDay.org, aVote.orginitiative, to support their 'Election Day Holiday' campaign. The campaign urges companies to offer employees paid time off, ranging from flexible working schedules to a full paid holiday, in order to get to the polls on November 6 th. This important initiative is a continuation of the Johnnie WalkerKeep Walking Americacampaign launched in 2016, which celebrates cultural diversity in America.

In 2014, 35% of the U.S. population noted that scheduling conflicts with work and school prevented them from voting in the midterm elections. i Voter turnout dipped to one of its lowest points in two decades during the 2016 Presidential Election. ii Making it to the polls on Election Day should not be difficult, but there are often barriers to navigate such as transportation issues or lack of standardized laws mandating employers to allow time off for voting. Together, Johnnie Walker and Vote.org hope to inspire people to become better informed about voting policies in the workplace, so everyone feels empowered to exercise their powerful, democratic right to vote.

Johnnie Walker parent company Diageo is committed to giving all of its salaried employees and non-union hourly associates across the country two hours of paid time off to get to the polls on November 6 th. This policy is in place across all U.S. offices and manufacturing sites, making it simpler for Diageo employees to vote, regardless of location.

Vote.org founder Debra Cleaver explained, "There are so many differing laws about time off for employees on Election Day; it differs state-by-state. This puts the onus on individual citizens to find out if they can leave work to go to the polls. So, when companies like Diageo create consistent policies for their distributed national workforce, it's a big deal. Now, there's one less roadblock for their employees in different states and locations to consider when they make their plans to go vote. Diageo, with Johnnie Walker, is setting a strong example to help ensure that all Americans can exercise and celebrate their right to vote."

To support the brand's election program, Johnnie Walker is bringing back its Keep Walking AmericaTV spot featuring a reimagined version of the iconic American folk song "This Land Is Your Land" by Los Angeles soul band Chicano Batman. Created by Anomaly New York, the spot will air nationally through the upcoming elections, and celebrates a diverse America, reinforcing the brand's mission to inspire progress.

"It's so important that Diageo employees know we celebrate their right to vote, and we are proud to offer flexible work policies, including two hours of paid time off, to vote in local elections. Moments of progress only happen when you show up and there's no better place to start than at the polls. We hope the Johnnie Walker partnership with Vote.org inspires people to participate in shaping their own future," commented Deirdre Mahlan, President, Diageo North America.

Johnnie Walker is proud to join Vote.org partner Lyft in the company's efforts to provide free and discounted rides to the polls on November 6 th. Together with Lyft, Johnnie Walker will help voters exercise their fundamental rights and celebrate doing so safely. More information on this safe ride promotion will be announced soon via Lyft and Johnnie Walker social channels.

Johnnie Walker is also joining the Civic Nation #VoteTogether campaign, aimedto increasevoter participation by making voting fun and celebratory. As an official partner, Johnnie Walkerwill be hosting a handful of nonpartisan #VoteTogether events in select cities across the nationwhere attendees will receive a Lyft code to help them celebrate responsibly. Moreinformation about this programming and the locations will be unveiled in the coming month.

For more information, please visit www.johnniewalker.com. Companies interested in following Diageo's lead to offer employees paid time off on Election Day can go to ElectionDay.org to sign up and learn more about the organization.

About Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker is the world's number one Scotch Whisky brand (IWSR, 2017), enjoyed by people in over 180 countries around the world. Since the time of its founder, John Walker, those who blend its whiskies have pursued flavor and quality above else.

Six generations of skilled Master Blenders have pioneered and crafted bold new flavours that have transformed a small Scottish grocery store business, founded in 1820, into an international whisky business selling stylish, authentic, and iconic blends.

Today's range of award-winning whiskies includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Gold Label Reserve, Aged 18 Years and Blue Label. Together they account for nearly 19 million cases sold annually (IWSR, 2017), making Johnnie Walker the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Croc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

About Vote.org
Vote.org, a 501 (c) (3) nonpartisan organization, uses technology to increase voter turnout, simplify political engagement, and strengthen American democracy. The organization was founded on the belief that Americans want to vote and will vote more consistently and in higher numbers as voting becomes more accessible; its mission is to create a reflective democracy where the electorate mirrors the overall population.

Since its launch in 2016, the organization has engaged more than 43 million voters in the electorate process to date, including running the single largest Election Day GOTV drive in America in 2016 and registering more than 1 million Americans to vote. In 2018, it reached a milestone of having registered more than 1 million voters nationwide.

ElectionDay.org, launched in 2018, in an initiative that celebrates and supports companies who give their employees paid time off to vote, and otherwise lessen their barriers to voting. Follow us on Twitter @ElectionDayOff_ #electiondayholiday #takeoffelectionday

i Ingraham, Christopher. "A ton of people didn't vote because they couldn't get time off from work." The Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/11/12/a-ton-of-people-didnt-vote-because-they-couldnt-get-time-off-from-work/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f27437a26af2

ii Wallace, Gregory. "Voter turnout at 20-year low in 2016." CNN, 30 Nov. 2016, https://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/politics/popular-vote-turnout-2016/index.html

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