Making Election Day a National Holiday is a Horrible Idea
The leftists proposing this national holiday should be careful what they wish for, it might backfire on them.
There is a nagging suspicion among us conservatives that Democrats want to game the electoral algorithm to produce the snapshot of the electorate most favorable to themselves, and that they will continue tweaking it to improve their results in real time.
Many on the left, of course, sincerely believe that they are fighting voter suppression or championing innovation. One of the examples of their innovation is the ranked choice voting that adopted by the city of Oakland, CA in 2006. In 2010, after a complicated campaign in which candidates vied for second and third place, Oakland has elected Mayor Quan, even though she performed poorly after the first round was tabulated. A little more than a year later, Quan, who was nobody’s first choice, pissed virtually everyone in town with her lackluster handling of the Occupy camp. One would think this experiment was enough to show that traditional voting arrangements work better, but no. Other municipalities, and the state of Maine, have adopted the system, and Utah is slated to do it.
There is considerable buzz in progressive circles around making voting day a national holiday. In the mind of the proponents, having to go to the polls on a workday may be suppressing the turnout because people have to make time for it. Here is everyone’s [to the right of Marx] favorite punching bag, Alexandria Octasio-Cortez on the subject:
How is Columbus Day a holiday but Election Day not?
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 18, 2018
Ocasio needs to be careful what she wishes for. Traditionally, general election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. With the Tuesday free from work or school, take a Monday off, and you got yourself a nice four day weekend — high time to travel out of state. Before we know it, department stores will be offering voting week promotions — and alternative ways to spend patriotic time, just like they do on Veteran’s Day or Forth of July. Flaky young voters, a Democratic stronghold, will be particularly susceptible to temptation hit the road on the holiday. With this type of arrangements, Election Day may turn into a Spring Break in November.
Think like your 23-year-old self. What would you do, go to the ballot box or take a vacation? I’d chose vacation. I was a dutiful young woman, mind you; I was registered, and I participated in every presidential election. But, for the life of me, I can’t recall which candidate I voted for in 1996.
Now open your calendars, and look at November 2020. The first Tuesday after the first Monday of November falls on the 3rd. A young voter can take the 2nd off, or ditch school, in any event, and have the stretch from October 31 to November 3rd free. October 31 is Halloween, the one American holiday celebrated across ethnic cultures, and especially beloved by the young. How are we supposed to vote Donald Trump out if young people will be skipping town to attend festivities at, say, Castro street in San Francisco, or some other notorious Halloween central?
Of course, there might be ways to avoid this debacle. For instance, we can move this newly-minted Election Day holiday to a Wednesday or a Thursday. Of course, that would be too transparent of an attempt to time voting to the partying arrangements of the Democratic electorate, so it might not fly.
Bottom line is, voters need to make time to go to the polls, and there are always better things to do than connecting the arrows next to the names of individuals recommended by the flyer allegedly coming from the local party headquarters.
Being of conservative mindset, I oppose fixing what’s not broken. New approaches can be great, but we have to realize that most will flop. If a new product is tested on the market, we will know soon enough if it’s needed. If it fails, creators will pick up and move on. If we blow an election experimenting with jungle primaries or ranked choice, the consequences can be disastrous.
This is not to say that the system is not broken in parts of the country. One only needs to look at the hot mess that is Broward County, Florida to see that. However, to fix the process there, we need less experimentation, not more. Elections should simplified, absentee ballots, and early voting, abolished. Of course, that will make the process somewhat less convenient, and perhaps some citizens will never make it polling places, reflecting on the priorities of these voters. The alternative, the situation in which officials fail to correctly tabulate the results, disenfranchising entire state, is far worse.
Speaking of disenfranchisement and voter suppression, I would like to see a study that looks into the effect of the recently adopted jungle primary on the conservative participation in general election in California. In jungle primaries, candidates from all parties compete for the top two spots on the general election ballot. General election is then a run off between the two.
In June, I voted for Senator Feinstein on the assumption that as corrupt as she is, she’s still a wonky centrist, and California will not do better than her. I was worried that she may lose to dogmatic Kevin De Leon, and wanted to help her out. After her despicable role in the Brett Kavanough hearings, I could no longer support her. Only there was no Senatorial candidate for me to vote for. The way my ballot was designed, there wasn’t even space to write-in my Rumpelstiltskin. I wonder how many Californians were all fired up to vote Feinstein out, but lacking the ability to do it, gave up on the electoral process altogether.
Having meaningful choices brings people to the ballot box. Removing these choices might just be voter suppression.
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I worked for a company that had election day as a holiday, then it was switched to Martin Luther King day. What kind of choice was that?
A poltically correct one, and it is sad they felt the need to do this.
You might want to consider the benefits of replacing someone like Feinstein with a less “veteran” and effective Democrat, even if they are farther Left.
For one, the may be too far left to be taken seriously by their peers (although recently that’s become less likely)
But also, the more senior Senators usually get their choice of influential committee chairs:
Feinstein has served on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and (as we witnessed during the Kavanaugh hearings) she serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee… and done great damage to this country.
At least by rotating in fresh “rookies” from California, we might mitigate the damage California Democrats can inflict. And then replace them again just as they are figuring out how the Senate works.
“This is not to say that the system is not broken in parts of the country. One only needs to look at the hot mess that is Broward County, Florida to see that.”
Broward County is NOT broken. It is doing EXACTLY as it was always intended to do (with varying degrees of success): manufacture enough votes for the Dem to win.
I like the idea of an Election Day holiday about as much as the idea of placing a 6-foot obelisk on the exact spot where people die (even if it is in the middle of a highway).
Your article mentions a holiday called “fourth of July”. That is a date. The holiday is “Independence Day”. Yes, I’m being a noodge, but the proper name tells what the holiday commemorates.
I’m afforded a whole slew of paid holidays from my employer, but Columbus Day ain’t one of them. Nor Presidents Day. Or MLK Day. The Feds do, but many in the private sector don’t. Heck, the entire state of AZ doesn’t recognize MLK Day.
The point being, what if the federal government declared a national voting holiday and many in the private sector ignored it?
What’s that remedy? Compulsary day off? That’s tyranny.
Nope, Mrs. Sedgwick detailed the correct course of action: “Bottom line is, voters need to make time to go to the polls,…” Period. End of sentence.
Even if Election day is turned into a national holiday, there will still be businesses that need to be open and employees that need to work. Early voting addresses the issues of people not having time to stand in line on election day. If they choose not to select that option, I don’t want to hear any whining about long lines.
This would be a very bad idea for Democrats, I mean most of their voters already don’t work, so giving people the day off would just mean more republican voters.
If you can’t manage your schedule at least one day per year, maybe you aren’t responsible enough to vote. Also, early voting needs to go. If you know you will be busy on Election Day, request an absentee and mail it in. Otherwise, show up and get in line like everybody else.
20 states still require an excuse for absentee voting. “I have to work” isn’t a valid excuse. Since the states run the elections, not the fed, the states can’t be forced to change their procedures. Personally, I like early voting. I own a business. Due to the nature of my business, I am contractually obligated to fulfill certain tasks for my clients when the need arises and “I have to vote” has never and will never be a legitimate reason for not fulfilling that obligation. Without early voting, if things go sideways on election day, I don’t get to vote. Not all of us have 9-5 jobs and some of us have responsibilities to others that don’t just go away because it’s the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.
Liberals like eric holder got the gerrymandering crap passed in Michigan.
Liberals are full of the same stuff you find in baby diapers after use.
Listening to Hillary for two years attempting to explain “what Happened’ is horrible. I wouldn’t, necessarily, put making Election Day a national holiday in the same category.
I don’t see a National day off for voting. I do, however, oppose the early voting, if you cannot vote on the day, it means you are likely not trying too hard. Absentee needs stricter guidelines, must be applied for in person, and a means to cast those ballots in person. This would only work with Voter ID being required. All polling places must also check valid ID.
But the left will never agree with Voter ID, it would make their fraud much harder to do.
Our current system was just fine for the eighteenth century, when most of us lived within walking distance of both work and our local poll. Nowadays, a 20-plus mile commute back home to vote and then another 20-plus back again is not such a trivial matter.
Devoting the whole day to voting need not involve a day off. For most of us, keeping the polls open all day—24 hours—shouldn’t put too much strain on the government’s resources, and would make life a little easier on the productive portion of the populace.
Here’s a deal: we’ll support making election day a holiday, if we can have a national celebration on the day hillary clinton finally drops dead.
Btw, expect A LOT more stupid ideas from that buffoon Cortez, because we’ve got her for at least 2 years.
But then, she just might become the GOP vote machine that Odumbo and clinton were – and still are.
Let us not be too quick to judge this idea. An election day holiday in return for elimination of all absentee ballots except for active duty military might be a fair trade.