Why election day shouldn’t be a federal holiday

On a recent episode of the War Room, Jennifer Granholm suggested that we make election day a federal holiday to help make it easier for people to vote.

Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?

Today being a federal holiday reminded me of it, and reminded me why it shouldn’t be a federal holiday.

Who gets federal holidays off? Government workers, office workers, some businesses. For the most part people who are in pretty comfortable positions in life. What about minimum wage earners? What about the guy stocking shelves at Wal-Mart? What about the barista at your local Starbucks? Retailers, service industry workers who generally make the least money in our economy don’t have federal holidays off and these are exactly the people who have the hardest time getting out to vote.

For this segment of the American population most likely to have a hard time voting, the most likely to be on the receiving end of harsh voter ID laws, the most likely to depend on cumbersome public transportation, a federal holiday would accomplish exactly nothing.

Instead, let’s set limits for the number of voters who can be registered to single voting location so that we don’t have massive lines like what we saw this year. Increase early voting, make mail-in ballots more accessible, increase hours.

Democracy is not a spectator sport, but we shouldn’t make it into an extreme sport, either.

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Filed under Election 2012, US Politics

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