Election Day is one of the most important days our nation faces, and the Presidential Election comes up once every four years. It is the day when the American people congregate, put their voices together in the form of ballots and choose how they want the nation to be run.
Columbus Day is a day to celebrate a man who “discovered” America on accident, and proceeded to enslave, introduce life-threatening disease, and forcibly convert Native Americans to Christianity.
On one of these days, we get the entire day off, and the other, we do not.
Election Day is a day to celebrate democracy, to vote, to make your voice heard. It is a vital and crucial part of the health of our nation for as many people to vote as possible, so that the government is accurately representing the people.
So why is it that the people do not get the day off to partake in this recurring historical event?
Voter turnout in the U.S. has always been on the low side. This is very odd, as there is so much politicization and divisiveness in our beliefs.
Voter turnout historically has been around 50-55% for the last several presidential elections, and even lower in mid-term years.
This is a problem, because if the decision makers that affect every citizen in the nation are being chosen by only about half of the population, then representation in our government cannot be accurate.
Having Election Day as a national holiday and giving people the day off from work would greatly reduce the amount of people who cannot make it to the polls due to having to be at work to provide for their families.
The people who would be forced to not vote are those who most likely need representation in the government. People in this situation are more than likely unable to get out of work, purely because they need to be making money to be able to survive.
While yes, there are absentee ballots and mail-in ballots for those who are unable to appear at the polls, these options are often more difficult to explain and utilize.
Voters must completely fill out the ballot and the second envelope for their vote to count. While there is that page of instruction, it isn’t always clear how to fill each of these out. There are also some people who have reported their instructions being covered up with stickers, which is voter suppression.
The U.S. would greatly benefit from a national holiday on Election Day. This would encourage voter turnout, creating a government that is a better representation of our nation.