Should Election Day be a National Holiday?
Election Day, a day that showcases one of the most important duties of a democratic society is the right to vote in a federal election. With election creeping up the following question arises: Should Election Day be a national holiday?
As there is with any argument, there are people that believe that it should be made a national holiday and some that do not. For instance, the Democrats think that election day should be made a national holiday. According to forbes.com, they proposed a law in 2019 that will make the next Tuesday after the first Monday in November a federal holiday. This will allow people to get a day off and vote and then watch the election results later that night. This day can also serve as a great break from work stress as after voting, people can relax at home.
But the question is, how helpful would it be if this process was implemented during this year’s election? With COVID-19 and its deadly effect, there is already an increase from the last election in the number of people who mailed in their ballot or even voted early. And with several states extending their mail-in ballot deadline to be very near election day, there is a major possibility that we might not have clear results on Election Day because a lot of mail-in ballots might not have been counted yet.
The law could have been implemented if this was a “normal” year. If Election day was made a national holiday, we might see higher voter turnout. We can predict this because, during its 2014 election, India (the world’s largest democracy) saw the highest voter turnout in history with 66.4% of its 900 million eligible voters (LA Times.) Why you might wonder? Primarily because of good campaigning by the candidates but also because the voting day is a National Holiday in India and having a day off from work and dedicating it to voting causes voters to go and vote.
Making Election Day a national holiday can also help us celebrate what our freedom father’s fought for: freedom, equality, and representation. As mentioned earlier, democracy gets its power from the people. Although the United States isn’t a direct democracy, citizens still get to voice who they support and vote for them. Voting has been one of the basic fundamentals of democracy ever since the ideology was first created. Each and every citizen should take pride in this process and try to go out and vote. This year, it is easier than ever to vote because of early voting booths and mail-in ballots. Along with voting for who you want to represent you, voting is also a celebration of democracy. Election Day is one of the biggest days as the nation as a whole decides who they want as their new leader. If election day were a national holiday, this would allow American’s to celebrate the victory of their voice with friends and family.
The question we have to answer is, “if the world’s largest democracy can do it, why can’t we?” Making the voting day a national holiday can increase the number of people who go and vote and will help us have the most representative results on Election Day. It seems that the opinion of a national holiday is shared by other Americans too as a survey conducted by Pew Research showed that US adults would rather have a federal holiday on Election Day than on Christmas Eve, the Friday after Thanksgiving, or St. Patrick’s Day. Whether this law is implemented or not, if you have signed up to vote, remember to vote! May that be by voting early or mailing-in or even going on Election Day and voting. Your voice matters and makes a difference in the future of our nation!