Monday, July 25, 2016

A Strong, if Early, Candidate for "Dumbest Thing I've Read This Week"

In an email I just got from something calling itself the "Progressive Turnout Project" ...

"Election Day should be a holiday, so no one has to choose between a paycheck and a vote." -- US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

The derp, as always, is strong with this one.

The only people who automagically get all federal-government-decreed holidays off work with pay are government employees.

Sure, some other people get some holidays off work with pay; in some industries (e.g. banking), that holiday schedule may closely track the government holiday schedule.

Other people don't get paid for days off, period, end of story.

And on any given holiday, there are many, many, many Americans at work.

Given Warren's political orientation, perhaps making it easier for government employees, but not everyone else, to vote is really the whole point.

If the goal is really maximizing the ability to vote, there are several ways to go about it, none of them as stump-stupid as "make Election Day a holiday."

Some of them have already been implemented here and there (early voting, relaxed rules for absentee voting, voting by mail).

Another would simply be to make the voting hours longer and/or move Election Day to the weekend when at least those who work the 40-hour, Monday thru Friday, routine are off. Any particular reason why "Election Day" shouldn't start at 12:01am Saturday morning and run through 11:59pm Sunday night?

And then there's the matter of election venue and method. Why does it have to be a school gym or church social hall filled with dedicated voting machines, when it could be standardized terminals at every Post Office and many convenience stores (yes, I'm aware of fraud concerns, etc. -- separate issue, right now I'm talking ONLY about making it EASIER to vote, not about making the vote less vulnerable to fraud)?

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