Election Series: Should Election Day Be A National Holiday?

September 18, 2020

Interesting question, right? Actually, this question has been debated for quite some time—at least in the United States. Why? Because unlike other countries such as New Zealand and Germany who make Election Day a national holiday if it’s held on a weekday, the United States does not. In the United States, states decide whether or not Election Day is a holiday and for that to happen, state legislators must propose a bill, pass it through the right government channels and then have the bill signed into law by that state’s governor. Earlier this year, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill that would make Election Day a state holiday in Virginia. And while more and more states have proposed similar bills, the road to all states moving forward with a statewide Election Day holiday is a long process. While people wait to hear the outcome of these Election Day bills in their states, some companies are taking the matter of making Election Day a holiday into their own hands. Earlier this year, social media company Twitter and ride-hailing company Uber announced that Election Day will be a paid company holiday for its employees. While these companies are not the first to make such a move (outdoor apparel company Patagonia began offering its employees paid time off on Election Day in 2016), their announcements bring back the conversation of whether Election Day should be a national holiday in the United States.

What do you think? Should Election Day be a national holiday in the United States? What are the pros and cons of making Election Day a holiday?