(CNN) -- I know some 800,000 people retweeted that "four more years" image of Barack and Michelle Obama. But a different and much-less-discussed tweet caught my eye on Election Day:
Election Day should totally be a federal holiday right? Like, let's trade in Columbus Day. Big festive Election Day BBQs should be a thing.— Robin Sloan (@robinsloan) November 6, 2012
Explain to me how that's not a genius idea?
Of course, it's not an entirely original one. The actor who plays Dwight Schrute on "The Office" made a video about the subject earlier this year. But the best argument I found in favor of an Election Day holiday was in the pages of The Atlantic in 1998. Way back in those Backstreet Boy times, Martin Wattenberg wrote that Election Day should be combined with Veterans' Day to create Veterans' Democracy Day.
"This would send a strong signal about the importance our country attaches to voting," he wrote. "And what better way could there be to honor those who fought for democratic rights than for Americans to vote on what could become known as Veterans' Democracy Day?"
Veterans' Day is celebrated on November 11, which is Sunday this year. (Federal employees have Monday, November 12 off work). The holidays could be combined, Wattenberg says, on the second Tuesday in November.
I love Wattenberg's idea about Veterans' Day because of the message it sends to voters.
For the past month or so, I've been writing about Hawaii's distinction as the state with the lowest voter turnout rate in the 2008 election (and possibly in 2012, but the numbers are still coming in). For one piece of the project, I asked the People of the Internet to send messages to six nonvoters in the Aloha State, trying to convince them to vote. Three of the six caved to the social media pressure, and one, Michael Remen, told me he voted simply because of one of the messages he received. It came from a commenter on CNN iReport's Facebook page:
"Send him a free ticket to Arlington Cemetery and (show) him how many reasons there are to vote, since all those there died for that right, here and abroad."
"I thought that was a really powerful statement," Remen said, "and it made really good sense."
Aligning Voting Day with Veterans' Day not only makes logistical sense -- lines might be shorter if not everyone ran to the polls at the start and finish of the work day -- but also symbolic sense.
It might serve as a reminder to people like Remen that veterans have given their lives to protect the right to vote in the United States. The least we can do in return is honor their sacrifice by casting a ballot. And, as that tweet suggested, an Election Day barbecue wouldn't be so bad, either.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John D. Sutter.
- More sharing
Headlines Newsview all
Two gay men who met online and started a physical relationship discovered they were actually brothers live on the Jeremy Kyle show. A DNA test revealed ... Full story
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday re-arraigned three oil marketers — Opeyemi Ajuyah, Abdullahi Alao and Olarenwaju Olalusi — over an alleged N1.1bn ... Full story
Former minister of education and co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on behalf of other participants of the campaign has replied a letter written to her ... Full story
Rate this article
- Buhari on private visit to Britain
- Video: Don Jazzy And The Mavins Arrive In Ghana For Tigo Ghana Meets Naija Concert
- Checkout Funke Akindeleâ€™s New Lover
7-men Nigerian music group led by Don Jazzy, The Mavins have touched down in Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport this morning for tomorrow's Tigo ...
Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, is one lady that cannot be easily seen because she has been moving from one location shoot to the other couple ...
A woman at the Isolo area of Lagos, delivered a baby with beads from the womb 11 months after pregnancy. Father of the baby and ...
The sourness in friendship between friends of Nollywood industry, Ghanaian thespians, John Dumelo and Yvonne Nelson is seriously heated up as John Dumelo has revealed ...
Nollywood actor, Von Apochi, is set to make his first movie appearance after a deadly fire accident he was involved in that almost claimed his ...
There is a recent welcomed development in the Nigeria police sector, as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, on Thursday made some new orders ...
The Flying Eagles have been rated the youngest team heading to the FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand. The competition will hold from May 30 ... Full story
Eldest son of veteran actor Femi Robinson who passed on, Wednesday, at the age of 75, Wole Robinson has described his late father as “a ... Full story
Yemi Alade Reveals Too Much Flesh At Press Conference What Is Wrong With Yemi Alade's Fashion Sense Should Yemi Alade Change Her Fashion Stylist? As the world looks ...