Election Day should be a federal holiday

// World | Election Day should be a federal holiday
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
A federal holiday for Election Day could create a more festive atmosphere -- and more time to vote.
A federal holiday for Election Day could create a more festive atmosphere -- and more time to vote.

(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.

0
Comments »
  • Print
  • Email
  • More sharing
Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Bomb Explosion In Kaduna Leaves Many Dead!

An explosion has occurred in central Kaduna killing at least 10 people, a witness has said. The blast occurred Wednesday afternoon along Isa Kaita road which ...

Nollywood Actress Bukky Wright’s Second Marriage Crashes

It appears that the second marriage of popular Nollywood actress, Bukky Wright with her husband, Adewale Onitiri, has crashed. Reports say the couple almost ended the ...

Boko Haram Beheads Nigerian Air Force Officer - Very Disturbing Video Video

A disturbing video which showed a Nigerian Naval officer identified as Umar Abubakar being interrogated and later gruesomely murdered by Boko Haram men in Borno ... Full story

Popular Nigerian Pastor Chris Okotie Shows Off N400m fleet of cars

No doubt, the ageless multi award winning pop Musician, Chris Okotie; now known as Rev. Chris Okotie is a very wealthy man; who loves seeing ... Full story

Charles Okonkwo Jr., Nigerian in New York arrested after killing brother, beating respected doctor mother into a coma

Charles Okonkwo Jr., a Long Island, New York, teenager with a history of psychiatric problems killed his 15-year old brother and brutally beat his mother ... Full story

Parents Of Abducted Chibok Girls Arrive At Presidential Villa

Parents of the school girls that were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok , Borno State on April 14, by the dreaded terrorist group, ... Full story

Sulaiman Abdulkarim Isah, Nigerian Man Wins Dubai International Holy Quran Award

A Nigerian man, Sulaiman Abdulkarim Isah has been announced winner of the 18th session of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award which was concluded on ... Full story

Rilwanu Lukman, Former Minister Of Petroleum Dead At 76

Former Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, is dead. He died this morning in Austria at the age of 76. Lukman, who was born in Zaria, ...

Samuel Kayode, Nigerian Pastor In UK Commits The Biggest Education Fraud In UK History

An accountant at a chain of academies championed by Michael Gove is at the centre of a fraud investigation after £4million of school funds ended ... Full story

Oby Ezekwesili Harassed By Security Operatives At Abuja Airport

Operatives of the Department of State Security this morning seized the international passport of the Coordinator of the BringBackOurGirls group and former Minister of Education, ...

Armed robbers attack Sambo’s wife aide, killing two

Armed robbers on Sunday took over the Kaduna-Abuja Express way unleashing terrors on motorists/passengers, leading to death of two persons. Also, a health practitioner in Kaduna, ...

Comment on: Election Day should be a federal holiday

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Iyabo Ojo ‘Abandons’ Movie Set For Graduation Party

Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo, who has been very busy on a movie set, took some time off to show affection for her cousin and nephew ...

I’m Not Dating Ramsey Nuoah—Ghanaian Actress Cries Out

Fast-rising Ghanaian actress, Emmanuela Mendoza, better known as Ella Mensah, has denied speculations making the rounds that she was dumped out of Ghanaian movies by ...

I knew I was going to emerge the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2014 – Iheoma Nnadi

The ‘Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria’ MBGN, 2014, Miss Iheoma Nnadi has stated that she had always known she would win the MBGN title.The 19-year-old ...

EXCLUSIVE: 9ice Furious Over Wedding Reports

Top Nigerian music artiste, 9ice, seems to be angry and would not want to entertain any question from the media concerning reports him getting married ...

Selecting A Perfect Eye Shadow For Your Makeup

Eye shadows have been a long lasting trend amongst ladies. It does not only add colour to the face, but also curves the eye shape ...

US Model At War With Tania Over Wizkid

Reports making the rounds is that a US-based Nigerian model named Caroline Ikpea is not at loggerheads with Tania Omotayo, girlfriend of wave making Nigerian ...

Danger Of Celebrities Posting Pictures Of Maids Online

It is gradually becoming a trend for Nigerian celebrities to show off their domestic staff on the internet through social media platforms like Instagram and ...

Video: Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde Has the Sexiest Accent in Nollywood?

Jordan Burchette noted the 12 sexiest accents in the world for CNN Travel on November 30, 2012, and he ranked the Nigerian accent as the ...

Genevieve Nnaji announces 18year old aspiring actress, Bola Suru as winner of “Act The Part” online contest

Genevieve Nnaji has announced the winner of the “Act the part” online contest, which kicked off three weeks ago as 18year old aspiring actress, Bola ...

Photos: Jonathan in Close Door Meeting with Parents of Chibok Girls

Earlier today, it was reported that thebparents of abducted Chibok girls will meet with President Jonathan on Tuesday, July 22nd. They finally the president had ...