Should Election Day be a National Holiday? (Voting Reform, Part 1)

In a word: no.  It is one of those ideas that sounds so good until you actually think about what it would mean.

First of all, what would a voting holiday mean?  At minimum, it would be another federal holiday, just like Labor Day or President’s Day. That would give government employees at all levels another (presumably) paid day off.  It would likely mean banks and schools would close and that many professionals like attorneys and doctors would also take the day off.

Under this scenario, only government employees and some professionals would actually get to fully “celebrate” this new holiday.  Most people would continue to work, as it is unlikely stores, restaurants and factories would close.  Ironically, school being out might make it more difficult for parents with children who now will need to find additional child care or stay home from work.

Does making it easier for government employees, who benefit as much as any group from government spending, to vote, really promote the public interest, particularly when it does nothing to make it easier for the average working class individual to do the same?

I suppose you could try and make this holiday much more than a simple federal holiday.  If you could make it as big as Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas, that would certainly give the vast majority of workers the day off, though certainly not all.  

And would the average American even want another holiday like that?   Being able to grab a Big Mac or a few essentials at a grocery store is a much bigger deal than having an entire day off to vote, particularly when most states already have laws making sure that people are able to take time off, if needed, to get to the polls.  I would submit that requiring such accommodations nationally would be a much better way to deal with this issue.

Next time out, I will discuss another issue involving voting:  laws requiring a government issued ID.  Until then, thanks for reading and have a great day!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Tiva says:

    Perhaps if it were treated like jury duty, where businesses were required to allow every employee time to vote?


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