America prides itself on its democracy and the ability to give everyday people the chance to enact change. However, since the formation of the United States, voting rights have been systematically restricted, disproportionately affecting women, low-income individuals, and people of color. In the interest of making voting more equitable, Americans should start by designating Election Day as a national holiday.
The creation of a national holiday would give more people the opportunity to vote. Many essential and blue-collar workers aren’t able to afford to leave work on a normal weekday. In the 2016 election, 14% of registered voters (2.7 million people) who did not vote cited being “too busy” or having a conflict as their reason why. Putting the Election Day holiday on the weekend, or mandating that businesses provide paid leave for their workers for the day will likely increase voter turnout, which rested at 55.7% in 2016.
In order to prevent a rise in cost for businesses, the government should switch the federal holiday status of President’s Day to Election Day, as employers could give paid leave for only one. As well as its practicality, a 2018 poll from the Pew Research Center found that 65% of the American public supports a national Election Day holiday, with bipartisan support.
We have the potential to bring voting rights to more Americans who can then let their voices be heard. The benefits of this plan make it clear that the United States must adopt a national Election Day holiday for all of the American public. Sign our petition to help make a national Election Day holiday a reality.