Our View – Make Every First Tuesday a Holiday


Theres a band called My Morning Jacket whose song, One Big Holiday, we could not shake from our heads this Election Day. The song goes like this:

If we holler loud and make our way
Wed all live one big holiday.

While Alexandrias piece of the monumentally important election puzzle fit nicely into an otherwise bumpy day in the Commonwealth, it is beyond us why American elections take place on a day when citizens must scramble just to practice their right one this country was founded on to vote.

Think about it. Its one of the most practical things this country could do to raise voter turnout (Not that it was low this year, but why cant it be closer to 100 percent?). Plus, it is practically a holiday already, evidenced by this most recent election.

Many people took off work anyway, taking a personal holiday to make sure they got to the polls on time. And many offices, including federal government offices, have been lenient in allowing employees to miss work to fulfill their democratic obligations.

Election Day is already a holiday in nine states. Because it is seen as a national obligation, and because Tuesday in Virginia is also Tuesday in California, the day off should be nationalized.

This country stands for universal suffrage, meaning that every social stratum has the right and therefore needs the ability to vote. Voting should be just as accessible to someone who works three jobs and has children as it is to a retired professional soap opera watcher.

The vibe around town Tuesday reflected that of a holiday. Precincts were filled with giddy Alexandrians, schmoozing and greeting one another with Happy Election Day. Is it not an official rule that when starting a sentence with Happy and ending it with Day that the word sandwiched in between represents a a day off?

Happy hour extended well into the night last night Tuesday as well, crowding many of the areas bars, including an impromptu parade on U Street in the District. It was similar to New Years Eve apt because it marks the beginning of a more tangible time period than a ball-dropping ever could. Plus, politicians actually have to answer to their resolutions whereas civilians disappear with their headache New Years Day.

The Daily KOS blog posted a poll that asked the question, Is an Election Day Holiday a good idea? It polled 8,707 people. Eighty-four percent said yes; 7 percent said no; 3 percent said maybe and 4 percent absurdly demand more choices.

A new political movement manifested itself prior to this last election, heightening voter turnout to record rates. To ensure such high numbers continuously the federal government needs to follow in states footsteps and make the first Tuesday in November One Big Holiday.