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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 would align the US with other countries

Making weekday elections a national holiday is a popular idea that would align the US with other countries. It is time that the United States starts taking proactive measures to make participating in democracy as easy and as accessible as it is in other foreign countries.

The Argument

Election day should be made into a national holiday because it would align the United States with other foreign countries. There are 36 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental economic organization with 37 member countries, and the US is one of seven that doesn’t designate election day a national holiday.[1] The United States is out of step with the rest of the world. Nations like Israel and South Korea make election day a national holiday and have voter turnout rates of 72.3% and 77.2% respectively, which is significantly higher than that of the US.[1] Singapore has election day as a federal holiday, and in 2015 this resulted in a voter turnout of 93.6%. Foreign sovereignties like France, Mexico, and India also observe national holidays for elections.[1] All of these countries have made election day a national holiday in order to make it easier and more convenient for their citizens to vote. The United States should do the same.

Counter arguments

Election day should not be made into a national holiday. The countries that have made election day into a holiday have either not seen significant increases in voter turnout or they have only because they have employed other strategies as well. For instance, Singapore seeing a voter turnout of 93.6% for the 2015 election of their Prime Minister was not only because they have an election day holiday; the holiday is not even the primary reason.[1] Singapore had such a high voter turnout because they have a mandatory voting law. If citizens choose not to vote, those citizens must pay a fine.[2] Mandatory voting laws are the types of strategies that the US should employ to increase voter turnout. An election day holiday is not the solution America needs to solve its voting problems.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.procon.org/headlines/election-day-national-holiday-top-3-pros-and-cons/
  2. https://www.eld.gov.sg/voters_compulsory.html#:~:text=Voting%20is%20compulsory%20in%20Singapore,their%20leaders%20in%20a%20democracy.&text=A%20fee%20of%20%2450%20will,sufficient%20reason%20for%20not%20voting.
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020 at 18:14 UTC

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