Make Election Day a National Holiday

Julia Berg, Staff Writer

Do you want a day off school? Has your family not been able to vote because of work?

Well, making Election Day a federal holiday could be the solution.

Students in Westport get Election Day off because Long Lots Elementary is used as the location of polls. Because of the elementary students gaining this extra free day, the whole Westport school system does as well.

However, most students in America aren’t as lucky. While some states such as New York allow all workers to take a few paid hours to vote, the majority do not or do not get paid.

Even in states such as New York, there are often exceptions and scheduling conflicts. This system is biased against groups such as low-income workers, who cannot afford to miss work, those working multiple jobs, or single parents.

Additionally, these rules only apply to those who are registered to vote. According to Pew Research, “registered voters represent a much smaller share of potential voters in the U.S. than just about any other OECD country,’’ which is The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or developed countries.

The small number of registered voters compared to potential voters is caused mainly by laws put in place to restrict unwanted groups from voting. This factor of voting registration laws, combined with scheduling conflicts, and inconvenient polling locations, makes up some of the major causes of voter suppression. U.S. citizens, and more public figures have been working to give everyone the right to vote.

As 8th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Deitch says, “In my opinion for a democracy to thrive, while we shouldn’t force citizens to vote by any means, we should not put [in] roadblocks and should make every opportunity for citizens to vote and express their priorities.”

By making election day a federal holiday, the United States would take one more step in the direction of eliminating voter suppression and further becoming a country of freedom.