Should we replace Columbus Day with a Day Off For Election Day?

As proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I would have no problems with this, knowing what I know about both Columbus, and all the efforts out there to stifle voting. More than fair to trade one for the other.

It results in fewer days off since federal election days only fall every other year.

My state already does this btw. We don’t get Columbus Day, but do get Election Day(s) including the primaries.

I guess it comes down to who you think is more worthy of celebrating, Italians or Native Americans. Being neither, I don’t have a dog in that fight, but I have always thought Columbus Day was a weird day, but again, not Italian so…

I’m guessing one of the major parties would be very opposed to more people being able to vote. I don’t get either day off now, so I’m all for it!

Other than government employees, not that many people get Columbus day off.

That’s stupid. If you make Tuesday a holiday, many people will take the Monday off and use it as a 4-day vacation to travel.

It would make far more sense to move the election to a Saturday, or Sunday, or both (why shouldn’t election day last 2 days?). And make sure it does NOT fall on a 3-day weekend.

The proposal would be trading a once-a-year holiday that most don’t get off for a once-every-four-years holiday that you would get off.

How does that work exactly? They are going to enforce no work on election day? Like shutting down private businesses?

I would strongly oppose an Election Day holiday that only applied to presidential election years. That would only reinforce the politically damaging idea that you only need to vote for the president, and all other elected offices don’t matter.

Yeah-The same way they shut down private businesses on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Do you have an alternate proposal?

In my state we already don’t get Columbus Day off and haven’t for a while. So, it would entail actually giving us another day off which…I’m all for! Count me in!

(today, we get 2 hours administrative leave for voting, and it’s not just usable on election day but starts when the early voting polls open)

I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not:

Ummm… they don’t. There’s nothing that prevents a private business from being open on Christmas (as many Chinese restaurants will attest.) Most businesses are open on Thanksgiving due to the early Black Friday sales and most are open on New Year’s as well. Even industrial businesses tend to be open on those days. Finding workers might be tough, but that’s a labor issue, not a government one.

Have a two-day election day over a Saturday and Sunday. Or, have all absentee-ballot voting.

If you turn election day into a four day weekend, you may get fewer voters because of the long weekend, as someone mentioned above.

Also, there’s not just one election day per year – there are local school board elections and primaries (sometimes two primaries, during presidential election years) at least. In many areas, those controlled by one party, the primary is really where the vote matters most – if you live in a very red or blue area, whoever wins the primary will win the general. For congressional seats, may go unopposed, so the primary for those positions is really the only election.

Anyway, I think election day should be move to a weekend rather than having its own holiday.

Regardless of what we do with Columbus Day, Election Day should be a federal holiday. Pew Research polled a couple hundred people on why they didn’t vote in 2018 and 35% cited work or school scheduling conflicts as the reason. That is completely unacceptable. Republicans would probably attempt to block any attempt to remedy this because lower wage workers are disproportionately unable to negotiate time off. One more screwdriver in their voter suppression toolbox.

Not sure about that, it would be more people with jobs able to vote. I also don’t get either day off as it currently stands. I’m betting if election day became a “holiday” it would be similar to Columbus Day in that only government employees would get the day off. Most business would not follow.

At the very least we can make it a Federal Holiday to start, then encourage businesses to let employees take the time to vote on that day. It make take a bit of time to get the ball rolling, but I think it would be worth the effort.

I’d be curious about what proportion of House seats are really at risk for changing parties. For those that aren’t, the primary is a more important election. And, of course, only about one third of Senate is up for election at all every two years.

Let’s say that only about 1/3 of House seats really have a chance at flipping (just for argument’s sake – could be higher or lower), and only 1/3 of Senate seats are up each election at all. Are we going to make a holiday for everyone, even though their House seat may be uncontested and they may not have a Senate election at all? Shouldn’t those people have gotten their primary day off instead?

If the screwed up elections states like Florida want to give their folks a day off, I’m OK with that, I guess. But, most states don’t have those issues, and aren’t that contested anyway. If you live in Brooklyn, for example, during a non-Presidential year, chances are your House seat is uncontested and the Senate seat is not realistically contested either.

Sorry for the double post.

After I posted this, I realized that declaring it a Federal holiday wouldn’t even help get people to the polls who have a hard time getting there now. I had no problem voting on Election Day because I’m a salaried worker and I just voted before I went to work and went in late. No problem. Others left early. Having a Federal holiday wouldn’t help, for example, the hourly workers at McDonald’s – they are open on other holidays, except Christmas. They’re certainly open for Veteran’s Day, Labor Day, etc. It’s the low-paid hourly workers that sacrifice the most to vote, and they are typically service industry workers who will be on the job anyway.

That’s why you should make it two days on the weekend. They will have a better chance of finding some time over those two days to get there to vote.

My guess as to what would happen if it was a holiday: Service industry workers would get slammed by extra business from all the government and union workers who already had time to vote getting a free day off, it would be harder for them to get around because transit would go on the Sunday/holiday schedule, and they’d have to worry about childcare too since the schools would close.