Since this issue spans over the first Tuesday of November, which is also known as Election Day in the United States, I thought it would be apt to talk about it.
Every four years, Election Day is a busy, exciting, and highly awaited day for some. For others, its stressful. This may be due to many reasons, but I am focusing on one of those stressors: being able to vote or finding the time.
Whether a major presidential election or a smaller local one, that Tuesday comes with a hefty citizen responsibility of voting. But not everyone is able to do that because it’s a Tuesday – another workday or school day. Or because of lack of transportation, since it’s a Tuesday. Or for whatever reason that renders getting to the voting booth a challenge. A solution might be to make the day a federally observed holiday.
In other countries, the day to vote is a day off – from school, from work, from whatever may get in the way of a person going to elect whomever they think is the best person to represent them. It gives them a day to figure out issues mentioned above, and issues not mentioned here. It also provides citizens of those nations a day to do research, should they so choose to do so. While a day of political research may not be the most adequate, it is better than nothing, I feel.
Yet, here in the United States, Election Day is treated almost like a Hallmark holiday: something that is marked on the calendar but observed only by those who remember and have the time. For a day that was fought for and that gives space such a serious responsibility, shouldn’t it receive more respect? I think so. We have seen in recent past that elections are historical. In the early history of our nation, voting was worth dumping tea and dying over. Today, it’s a privilege if your employer pays you to go vote and return to work. That doesn’t seem fair to me.
I think the next step to support our nation in expressing its opinion and truly upholding our First Amendment right would be to make Election Day a federal holiday. As a country, we practically shut down for veterans, for those whose lives were lost, and for our nation’s birthday. These are all important days for citizens. And I feel that Election Day should be amongst those. It would be another day where, as a nation, we take a moment to stop and really contemplate what it means to be a United States citizen.
While this is only an idea of mine, I do know that it’s shared. There are people who feel the same. And hey, if you’re someone who chooses not to vote, then it’s a day off. But at the end of the day, pun intended, nothing is lost and there is much to gain with this change.