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General discussion

National holiday for voting

by Steven Haninger / October 31, 2009 10:30 PM PDT

Don't some countries already do this? It seems to me that, in order to better insure that voters can get to the polls, a government holiday would be a good idea. This would only go for the traditional November Tuesday. Currently law provides that employers must grant time for their workers to vote but this doesn't take away all obstacles to do so. It would seem to me that those working and paying taxes might have as much or more difficulty finding time to vote as those who are not employed. Could this be a disadvantage? I suppose it could.

I consider at least three current holidays as disposable...those being President's Day, MLK day and even Labor Day. Presidents Day and MLK day tend to be optional depending on state and local decisions but Labor Day is not. What I might consider is to drop President's Day and MLK Day and create something of a Constitution Day that would be devoted to teaching those principles of our government and its founding. This would include those who shaped the Constitution and those challenges to its completeness of purpose such as civil rights issues, etc. This could become our November voting day and just might take away some of the political and media contention that leads up to it and replace that with positives. Perhaps doing such might re-instill some pride in our representative system rather than just lead to poor mouthing it.

I'd do away with Labor Day as a national non-working day. Let local government chose how to celebrate it. We don't all need a day off. It's a misnomer, IMO, and has just become to define end of Summer in northern areas and determine when to close swimming pools. Happy

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(NT) An edit media "contention" should be "contentiousness"
by Steven Haninger / October 31, 2009 11:49 PM PDT
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It might work
by Angeline Booher / November 1, 2009 12:39 AM PDT

.... for national ones, which would mean a "voting holiday" every 2, 4, or 6 years,

But I suspect that the "day off work" would spent as many days off are now. It might motivate others to take time out of the day to vote."

I'm not sure how many countries already observe "voting days". I do know that their "election seasons" are much sorter than ours. Maybe their voters are not as sick of campaigns as we are, so more willing to go to the polls.

As Labor Day signals the end of a season as do other holidays on our calendar, my hope is for a {B}mandated{/B] signal to start the campaigns, and that all campaigning stop follwing election day, not to start again until the next signal.

Speakeasy Moderator

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That should be
by Angeline Booher / November 1, 2009 3:03 AM PST
In reply to: It might work

.... "shorter" (not sorter) and mandated.

Mark, Kees, and Jonah could confirm, but I don't think their election "seasons" are 12 months a year and years following each election like ours.

Speakeasy Moderator

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It wouldn't be designed to help one party or another
by Steven Haninger / November 1, 2009 3:19 AM PST

but to help provide a better focus on what we are actually doing. It might also ease some of long lines that occur at certain times of the voting day as those who are working often find it difficult to schedule time on that particular day to make it to the polls. I know alternative voting time have been instituted as a convenience and to alleviate some of the voting day congestion. Much has been done to include the "disenfranchised" but I could see how working people have their own barriers to cope with.

In any event, I'd think it might be worthwhile to try and make voting a more relaxed and positive experience rather than strategic warfare. And we celebrate the efforts of those who gave us liberty and fought to continuously improve our nation by voting.....and not going to the beach instead. Happy

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Hey wait, something happened
by Steven Haninger / November 1, 2009 3:22 AM PST

Not replying to my own post here but one that's vanished.

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For the big election years
by Roger NC / November 1, 2009 4:40 AM PST

we've found early voting works well.

I guess there is the slight chance some bombshell news could come out between the deadline for early voting and election day, but that's a slight chance.


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Mentioned that but not the full purpose
by Steven Haninger / November 1, 2009 8:49 AM PST

Yes, there are always workarounds and alternate ways to vote other than in the traditional manner. I'm not looking for that so much as to find a way to make it a day we approach with an air of celebration rather than one that's just another hassle we must endure to keep the bad guys out of office. We've gotten to see people in other countries just discovering democracy and anxiously awaiting the opportunity to vote. Maybe there's no way to recover that attitude here in the US but surely we can do better than what we are doing now. We have holidays that are, IMO, just for purposes of appeasement and serve no other real purpose or pride in our country and its history of overcoming some serious challenges to its existence as a model for a better world. Voting is the essence of democratic government. Why not try to make it celebratory rather than contentious?

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don't say that or
by James Denison / November 1, 2009 6:07 AM PST

it will get deleted.

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