Tag Archives: Florida

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

What gives, Rick Scott?

What gives, Rick Scott? Why are you afraid to let the people vote?

The Rachel Maddow Show is doing a great job covering the situation in Florida which is turning into a nightmare.

Check out these photos – lines here, lines there, lines everywhere.

Head on over the Maddow page on NBCnews.com for more coverage. People waited in line for one, two, four, eight hours – according to TRMS some people stayed there past midnight waiting to cast their ballots.

Rick Scott isn’t embarrassed, I’m sure, as long as Romney carries the state. We’ve already seen one Pennsylvania politician say as much about their own voter ID law, promising that Romney would carry the state thanks to their confusing, though now rejected, voter ID law.

We know what the goal is: Republicans have a weak candidate this year and are trying to rely on various tactics to keep people from voting, whether that’s mandating a government ID or cutting early voting. Of course there is nothing wrong with expecting a photo ID for people to vote; Republicans have been making this argument and you know what? It makes for a great sound bite. “You need ID to buy alcohol, you need ID to vote.”

The partisan games going on in big-time states that are going to matter tomorrow is stomach-churning, from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Florida.

Moments like these turn voters into heroes. Moments like these remind us all why voting is so important, no matter where you live, no matter your issues or your candidate we need you to participate in this great democracy of ours.

To all these folks in Florida and Ohio and across the country waiting in lines for hours, missing work or meetings, waiting for hours at a time, waiting until 1 am – you are my heroes. You are showing us that democracy is not a spectator sport, so don’t get comfortable, America. People are trying to make it harder for you to vote because they know that your vote matters.


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Filed under Election 2012