Voting Day Should Become A National Holiday
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
As we approach the half-way mark of 2020, this election year has proven to bring more attraction to government policies and responses than ever before. As people become increasingly involved in the country’s politics, it is important to know your role in the government and the civic responsibility we have as voters in the election, especially as we near the 2020 presidential election. However, many people come across obstacles when it comes to voting as far as accessibility is concerned. Many Americans are faced with the decision to decide which is more important to them, or which is available to them, or if they should fulfill their civic duty and vote or attend work and miss out on their opportunity to voice their opinion. Voting day should be a national holiday to promote higher participation in the election and provide accessibility for eligible citizens to vote.
In the last presidential election, in 2016, there was approximately 60% participation in the election, there were 245.5 million eligible voters in the country and about 157.6 million who reported being registered to vote. The voter turnout has a tremendous amount of impact on the election and offers the citizens to have an input on who is put into a leadership position of the country. As the number of voters decreases, the problem of little representation remains. The democratic factor of the American government is the strongest form of government participation that Americans have, and that civic duty should be fulfilled. By recognizing voting day as a national holiday there would be an increase in voter turnout and more opinions can be heard.
The United States falls behind in voter turnout compared to other developed countries, in part due to the amount of emphasis put on voting by the government. Belgium consistently has the highest voter turnout because of the compulsory voting system put in place, in comparison, the United States relies completely on voluntary action for voter turnout, this includes finding your own time to vote and registering yourself prior to the election. If there was a national holiday put in place for voting, it could put more emphasis on the responsibility for citizens to vote and increase voter turnout. The holiday can portray the message to voters the importance of their involvement, as well as offer voters the opportunity to access a voting booth.
When the process of voting was created, there was careful consideration of how people would logistically come out to vote in the election. However, as times have changed and voting has lost its appeal to many eligible voters or seen an increase in obstacles to reaching the voting booth, there must be some kind of reform to the process. By allowing a holiday for workers to vote, there would be an increase in participation and therefore better representation of the people in the government. As 2020 has seen many issues concerning the people and the government, now is an important time to re-evaluate the voting process and raise the participation rates in the country.