Poll

Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?

Yes.
18 (78.3%)
No.
5 (21.7%)

Total Members Voted: 23

Author Topic: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?  (Read 624 times)

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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2019, 03:05:18 PM »

Offline Moranis

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Do only federal elections get the holiday? What about primaries?  Adding 2 more holiday days every year seems like too much, so how do you draw the line?  And frankly in most places it is pretty darn easy to vote early that you don't really need to do this
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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2019, 03:12:44 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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I mean, which election days will be holidays? Because if people have the same challenges for voting in primaries it only encourages general election participation, which relatively limits their choice.

That's like saying, "Why would you treat the cancer if they're still smoking?"

Sure, they're both problems but helping to solve one shouldn't be precluded because you're not helping to solve the other.

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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2019, 04:00:56 PM »

Offline FatKidsDad

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No.

The only purported benefit would be to make voting easier/more convenient and thus increase participation. Where I live, we have three options: traditional in-person voting on election day, mail-in voting which anyone can opt for, and early in-person voting for a ten-day period ending the weekend before election day. Over the last several elections, voting was spread out fairly evenly across the three options. With this flexibility, there is virtually no barrier to universal participation.

If election day holiday or weekend election day is the only option, there is still a large percentage of the workforce that works on any given day in service and public safety jobs, who would be no more enabled to go to the polls than on a Tuesday.

An election day holiday would be costly for business and provide no discernible benefit.

Combining it with Veterans Day would take the focus off of honoring veterans, who deserve their own day of exclusive recognition.
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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2019, 02:39:01 PM »

Offline heyvik

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All for it. I actually don't see why it isn't. It would be a great way to introduce our youth the importance of voting and getting them involved with the process. I would hope this is for national election and not for local/state elections.

Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2019, 02:59:29 PM »

Online nickagneta

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Absolutely.

What's the argument against it?  More voter turnout & being fearful of what might happen?
Yes, I believe there would be blowback from states that make concerted efforts to curb the voter turnout.

Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2019, 03:10:31 PM »

Offline KGs Knee

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No.

The only purported benefit would be to make voting easier/more convenient and thus increase participation. Where I live, we have three options: traditional in-person voting on election day, mail-in voting which anyone can opt for, and early in-person voting for a ten-day period ending the weekend before election day. Over the last several elections, voting was spread out fairly evenly across the three options. With this flexibility, there is virtually no barrier to universal participation.

If election day holiday or weekend election day is the only option, there is still a large percentage of the workforce that works on any given day in service and public safety jobs, who would be no more enabled to go to the polls than on a Tuesday.

An election day holiday would be costly for business and provide no discernible benefit.

Combining it with Veterans Day would take the focus off of honoring veterans, who deserve their own day of exclusive recognition.

This is probably the best response I've read in this thread...TP

Simply making election day a federal holiday doesn't mean people are actually going to get that day off from work. Businesses would have to agree to let their employees have the day off, and in many cases that just isn't possible.

This wouldn't make it easier for anyone to vote other than government employees.

Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2019, 12:23:50 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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This wouldn't make it easier for anyone to vote other than government employees.

This isn't true. Many, if not most institutions would still close if it was a federal holiday. My business is directly impacted by banks. If the banks are closed, we're closed. Sure, loads of places would still be open. But that's true on Christmas and MLK Jr day and Veterans Day and Memorial Day and your birthday, it doesn't mean that's a reason to not make it a federal holiday.

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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2019, 12:53:00 PM »

Offline gift

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I mean, which election days will be holidays? Because if people have the same challenges for voting in primaries it only encourages general election participation, which relatively limits their choice.

That's like saying, "Why would you treat the cancer if they're still smoking?"

Sure, they're both problems but helping to solve one shouldn't be precluded because you're not helping to solve the other.

A better cancer analogy would be "if you get to the hospital within the next week, you can choose from among 20 different treatment plans. But either way, we'll pay you to come in next month and you can choose between the remaining 5 treatment plans." Or something like that. By incentivizing one period of time you are increasing participation in a more restricted option set. Unless the strategy is not effective in increasing participation, in which case, why would you do it?

If there is a benefit to the holiday status, then you are disproportionately encouraging choice from among a smaller subset of options (discounting write-ins) relative to primaries and general elections being equally incentivized.

Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2019, 01:28:57 PM »

Offline KGs Knee

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This wouldn't make it easier for anyone to vote other than government employees.

This isn't true. Many, if not most institutions would still close if it was a federal holiday. My business is directly impacted by banks. If the banks are closed, we're closed. Sure, loads of places would still be open. But that's true on Christmas and MLK Jr day and Veterans Day and Memorial Day and your birthday, it doesn't mean that's a reason to not make it a federal holiday.

Sure it does, because your harming business for very little, if any benefit.  There are myriad better ways to make it easier to vote than creating an unnecessary holiday.

If you're arguing that whether or not it makes it easier to vote is irrelevant, and it's just about celebrating the day, I don't see the need to celebrate performing my duty (voting).

Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2019, 01:46:56 PM »

Online mqtcelticsfan

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Whether or not it should happen is something that I can see being debated, but I would like to point out that McConnell calling it a power grab speaks volumes.

Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2019, 01:53:29 PM »

Offline FatKidsDad

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This wouldn't make it easier for anyone to vote other than government employees.

This isn't true. Many, if not most institutions would still close if it was a federal holiday. My business is directly impacted by banks. If the banks are closed, we're closed. Sure, loads of places would still be open. But that's true on Christmas and MLK Jr day and Veterans Day and Memorial Day and your birthday, it doesn't mean that's a reason to not make it a federal holiday.

Making it easier to vote is a worthy goal, and making election day a federal holiday is a way to move toward that goal, but it is not the most effective or efficient way.

The ideas I listed earlier in the thread (mail-in ballots and extended early voting) have the potential to be more effective and efficient without negative economic impact.

Another model that helps is already available to federal employees and could be expanded to other employers. Under federal employment regulations, if the polls are not open for at least 3 hours before or after an employee's shift, that employee may be granted up to 3 hours of paid administrative time for the purpose of voting. This, in combination with the other measures, would mean that practically no one would have a work-related reason not to vote.

As for other holidays, many people have Memorial Day off, but only a very small portion of the population attends Memorial Day observances. Similar outcome for Veterans Day, Labor Day and all the rest. There is no guarantee or even reason to believe that people who are not already inclined to vote would make voting a priority because it is a holiday. It would just be more time off.   
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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2019, 02:11:14 PM »

Offline action781

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No.

The only purported benefit would be to make voting easier/more convenient and thus increase participation. Where I live, we have three options: traditional in-person voting on election day, mail-in voting which anyone can opt for, and early in-person voting for a ten-day period ending the weekend before election day. Over the last several elections, voting was spread out fairly evenly across the three options. With this flexibility, there is virtually no barrier to universal participation.

If election day holiday or weekend election day is the only option, there is still a large percentage of the workforce that works on any given day in service and public safety jobs, who would be no more enabled to go to the polls than on a Tuesday.

An election day holiday would be costly for business and provide no discernible benefit.

Combining it with Veterans Day would take the focus off of honoring veterans, who deserve their own day of exclusive recognition.

I disagree with the bold statement because if you look at countries that have an election day holiday, they have noticeably higher voter turnout.  So that is the discernible benefit right there.
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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2019, 02:27:24 PM »

Online bdm860

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This wouldn't make it easier for anyone to vote other than government employees.

This isn't true. Many, if not most institutions would still close if it was a federal holiday. My business is directly impacted by banks. If the banks are closed, we're closed. Sure, loads of places would still be open. But that's true on Christmas and MLK Jr day and Veterans Day and Memorial Day and your birthday, it doesn't mean that's a reason to not make it a federal holiday.

To throw some data on this, according to this study released in 2016, about a third of the workforce works on weekends/holidays (Table 4). 

Kind of interesting how evenly distributed it is based on different education levels, would have thought this was skewed much more unfavorably to those without high school/college degrees, yet those are actually the best off.  Those with advanced degrees are actually the most likely to work on a weekend/holiday (36.4%) compared to those with less than a high school diploma (31.8%) and high school graduates with no college (28.0%).


As for other holidays, many people have Memorial Day off, but only a very small portion of the population attends Memorial Day observances. Similar outcome for Veterans Day, Labor Day and all the rest. There is no guarantee or even reason to believe that people who are not already inclined to vote would make voting a priority because it is a holiday. It would just be more time off.

This is where I'm at.  I think a federal holiday would be great in theory, and right in line with US ideals (land of the free, democracy, etc.), but it would accomplish nothing.  People use "not having time" as an excuse, but it's really just an excuse, if they had the time they'd find something else to do other than a chore like voting (kind of like going to the gym).

I feel like this is the Democrat's "Welfare Queen", or their version of drug testing welfare recipients, sounds good in theory, but ends up just being a waste.  I really don't think it would have an impact.  And who knows, it might even decrease voting, "ya I'm willing to arrive at work late/leave work early to go vote, but I'm not going to get out of bed early, or leave this holiday party early to vote." or "how am I not going to take a trip out of town when I have the day off?"


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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2019, 02:29:12 PM »

Offline Birdman

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Heck no cause some elections are fixed anyway
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Re: Should Election Day Be A Federal Holiday?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2019, 02:34:25 PM »

Offline Amonkey

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Just to throw my two cent in, in Brazil where I am from, people HAVE to vote (as in order to renew certain documents you have to show proof of voting or the exception form) but it is also a holiday. Many people vote early so they can take the rest of the day to go to the beach or have a BBQ. It's actually becomes a pretty chill day.

I think that for those who mention the negative impact, I honestly don't know how much of an impact there is. I mean, we just had MLK Day. Was there a negative impact on that holiday? I would think pretty minimal. Also, I am pretty sure companies can actually take advantage and create an incentive like President's Day sale or something.
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