In-Depth: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced this bill to make Election Day a federal holiday so it’s easier for Americans to vote:
“In America, we should be celebrating our democracy and doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process. Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote. While this would not be a cure-all, it would indicate a national commitment to create a more vibrant democracy.”
Not everyone is sold on the notion that making Election Day a public holiday would increase participation. In a column for National Review, Ian Tuttle opined that “giving Americans federal license to lie in bed all day is probably not going to encourage robust political activism.” He further added:
“But “democracy” defined as five minutes’ work one Tuesday every even-numbered year is no democracy at all. Because democracy is not just about casting a vote. It is about the freedom to partake of the myriad roles available in the political process — or, if one so chooses, to not partake.”
Of Note: According to Workplace Fairness, there are 11 states that don’t have laws requiring that businesses give employees time to vote during work on Election Day, although that doesn’t necessarily mean workers would be punished for going to their polling place.
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Tom Arthur / Creative Commons)