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Should election day be a national holiday? Show more Show less
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Election Day in the United States has occurred on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November ever since President John Tyler signed an 1845 law establishing a specific voting day for the entire country. But, the US has a voter turnout problem. Would making Election Day a federal holiday increase voter turnout and celebrate democracy? Or is it an optimistic power grab for Democrats that would hurt the economy?

Yes, election day should be a national holiday Show more Show less

The United States is one of the few democracies to vote on a weekday. A free and fair election can not occur while voters are at work and in school. A national holiday is needed to enable everybody and anybody who can vote to do so.
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It will turn voting into a celebration of democracy

Voting should be fun and celebratory. Election Day shouldn't be a day where people feel like they have another tedious task to do on top of their normal responsibilities, it is a day that should be filled with pride, joy, and patriotic sentiment.

The Argument

Election Day should be a national holiday because it would turn voting into a celebration of democracy. A large part of democracy is about voting, and voting should be a celebration, not a chore. Election Day should be made into a national holiday where students and employees are given the day off in order to honor our democracy. There are several places around the world where election day is a holiday that is properly celebrated. In Puerto Rico, election day is a holiday where caravans- joyful, noisy parades of cars festively decorated- stream through Puerto Rico’s streets ahead of an election and are credited with the island’s over 80% voter turnout. Another example is in Australia, where elections are celebrated with parties and barbeques nationwide, resulting in turnout rates of around 90%.[1] Rather than having voting be a tedious task to many, voting could be a pleasurable task with the promise of a fun and celebratory day. If we turn election day into a national holiday, where people have the day off to celebrate the act of actively taking part in their civic duties, it would likely get more people to vote and celebrate democracy.

Counter arguments

Election Day should not be a national holiday because not everyone would turn it into a celebration of democracy. Turning election day into a national holiday may enable workers and students to actually have the time to vote, but there is no evidence to suggest that they would take this day and turn it into a celebration of democracy. The notion of democracy is not something that truly matters to everybody. In a study conducted by Yale University that asked the question "How much do voters really care about democracy?", they found that about 3.5% of voters do. About 3.5% of voters value democracy enough to defect from a candidate whom they otherwise support, but who then does something destructive of democracy.[2] This study shows that democracy is not something everybody cares about or values in a huge way. Some people care enough to vote but not about the whole notion of democracy. If the vast majority of people don't really care about democracy, there is no reason why turning election day into a national holiday would turn it into a celebration.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.procon.org/headlines/election-day-national-holiday-top-3-pros-and-cons/#26
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/09/few-americans-care-about-democracy/616534/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020 at 22:02 UTC

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