Should Election Day be a Holiday?''

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 17, 2011 5:06 AM GMT
    That is, should it be a "bank holiday" - where most business, excluding vital services, are closed and people are unrestricted by work obligations to perform their most important civic duty: vote.

    In some areas of the United States, polls close as early as six o'clock - a very disadvantageous time for those whose jobs keep them until the usual closing time of five. Many people also don't get long-enough lunch breaks to go and vote. During the 2008 election, many people missed work due to long lines at the polls and faced consequences in their jobs for simply performing their civic duty. This issue leeds to the serious possibility of voter disenfranchisement, especially working-class voters who simply can't afford to miss work and possibly lose their jobs.

    A very eloquent solution would be to make election days public holidays in all democratic nations (I'm not sure of the situations in many, but know the Netherlands for instance doesn't do so), allowing for workers to vote at their leisure, and additionally freeing up schools to be actual polling locations - so that churches aren't used, as they are in some cases now (a very, very disturbing practice). This would surely improve voter turnout, no?

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    Feb 17, 2011 6:22 AM GMT
    31 states have laws pertaining to time off for voting. I don't think it's significantly affected the rates of voting.

    It may help to bring the slow states up to the rest of the nation, but it may not help voting. In fact, what I imagine will happen is that people will want to take the day off before election day and make it a four day weekend. If people are out of town then they won't be visiting their polling station.

    Can't people just send in an absentee ballot?
  • invisigay10

    Posts: 35

    Feb 17, 2011 6:14 PM GMT
    Here in Germany all elections are held on a Sunday, problem solved. This might also have the beneficial side-effect that the religious crazies are at church rather than voting.
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    Feb 17, 2011 7:31 PM GMT
    Anything that would increase the voter turnout is a good thing. More importantly, however, we as voters must take it upon ourselves to know who/what we're voting for and not be swayed by trivial wedge issues of race, class, sexual orientation, etc. Here is some data from a little over a decade ago:
    tucker_voter_turnout_oecd.gif
    If the USA could even increase its voter turnout to the mean of ~70% of OECD countries, the politicians may be forced to formulate policies that help the whole country instead of the pockets of voters within their constituencies.
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    Feb 17, 2011 7:37 PM GMT
    YES.

    Columbus Day on the Presidential Election years should be

    cancelled/switched to the Election day in November.



    Come to think of it.....couldn't Memorial Day and Veterans Day be the same day?


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    Feb 17, 2011 7:40 PM GMT
    Anything that increases voter turnout would be OPPOSED by Republicans.

    ( Keep em dumb and working......that's why there is also FAUX-NEWS)




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    Feb 17, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    I think Erection Day should be a holiday.
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    Feb 17, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    lol ^I read that too initially.
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    Feb 17, 2011 7:55 PM GMT
    I dont understand why we dont just have longer voting periods... the third world uses an entire week for some elections... other countries vote on sunday, a much more advantageous day for most part.
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    Feb 17, 2011 8:02 PM GMT
    LeanathleticDC saidAnything that increases voter turnout would be OPPOSED by Republicans.

    ( Keep em dumb and working......that's why there is also FAUX-NEWS)



    um whats the logic here? are you saying dumb people dont vote? but dumb people are republicans? so wouldnt a work holiday increase republican voter turnout by your logic? i dont really get it. any excuse to rip on republicans and the working class, right?
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    Feb 17, 2011 8:05 PM GMT
    blackstrap said
    LeanathleticDC saidAnything that increases voter turnout would be OPPOSED by Republicans.

    ( Keep em dumb and working......that's why there is also FAUX-NEWS)



    um whats the logic here? are you saying dumb people dont vote? but dumb people are republicans? so wouldnt a work holiday increase republican voter turnout by your logic? i dont really get it. any excuse to rip on republicans and the working class, right?



    Correct, you didn't get it.
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    Feb 17, 2011 8:06 PM GMT
    I have mixed feelings on this. Theoretically, a federal/state/national holiday would potentially enable more voting...except that such a holiday would then cause retail people to have to work extra, because you know the stores would turn it into a big sale day, lol.

    At present, many states have early voting, absentee, etc. I never vote on election day on the machines. I vote on a paper ballot, usually a month ahead of time, at my county board of elections office. It's 20 minutes on a Saturday morning. I'm also not opposed to online voting.

    And yet, more people will vote for American Idol than will vote for elected government officials...so no amount of access will increase interest.
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    Feb 17, 2011 8:09 PM GMT
    LeanathleticDC saidYES.

    Columbus Day on the Presidential Election years should be

    cancelled/switched to the Election day in November.



    Come to think of it.....couldn't Memorial Day and Veterans Day be the same day?




    memorial day is for soldiers who died in combat.
    veterans day honors all who served. it also falls on armistice day and stands as a remembrance for those who fought in WWII.

    so, in short no. that would be extremely disrespectful to living veterans or those who did not die in combat or the memory of those who died in service depending on how it was combined.
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    Feb 17, 2011 8:11 PM GMT
    LeanathleticDC said
    blackstrap said
    LeanathleticDC saidAnything that increases voter turnout would be OPPOSED by Republicans.

    ( Keep em dumb and working......that's why there is also FAUX-NEWS)



    um whats the logic here? are you saying dumb people dont vote? but dumb people are republicans? so wouldnt a work holiday increase republican voter turnout by your logic? i dont really get it. any excuse to rip on republicans and the working class, right?



    Correct, you didn't get it.


    but you didnt explain what you meant. in this situation, who is dumb? who are the people who are working? who is watching fox news? explain yourself. why would it hurt the republican party to have more people vote? none of that makes sense in what you wrote.