Electing a president is one of the most important decisions an American can make. Whats at stake is the very future of our country. Policies will be voted on. Laws will be put forth and voted on in the House and Senate. While future foreign policy will be developed and implemented. All this will be implemented over the next four years and it will effect the American people for many, many, years to come. In short the very future of America and its people is at stake. Why would we not consider observing a holiday on election day? This would enable all Americans to go to the polls to vote.
Voter turnout is a measurement of the percentage of actual voters within the entire voter pool. The mood of the voter can be determined by the voter turnout. For instance a low voter turnout may indicate a disenchantment or apathy with both political parties. It can also indicate disappointment or agreement in how both the Senate and Congress have voted on specific issues. Voter turnout has decreased nearly every election since the 1960’s. This year is an exception given the high voter turnout generated in the Democratic primaries races.
This could be a direct correlation to the mediocre Presidents and the many unqualified candidates that have been involved in political elections since the 1960’s. American’s truly have not had anyone to be excited about since the candidacy and eventual election of John F. Kennedy in 1960. In 2004, election turnout was 64% among voting age US citizens and considered a very low turnout. Meaning 36% of voting age US citizens did not vote. No one can argue that making election day a holiday will in fact increase voter turnout, but perhaps it can help.
General opinion is that race, gender, and ethnicity have very little influence over the factors that draw voters to the polls. In 2008 the factors in voter turnout has been turned on its head, by George W. Bush. Bush has caused a tremendous awakening of voters who have flocked to the polls in record numbers during this primary season.
One factor that is an overwhelming influence on voter turnout is change. Particularly in the 2008 Presidential Election. In the Democratic primaries voters were passionate about who they supported and age factored into this equation. Voters under 50 years old supported Barack Obama. Voters over 50 years old and older supported Hillary Clinton. The voter turnout was huge. Voters are motivated by one big issue this year; that would be change.
On the Republican side Evangelical Protestant voters split evenly between Huckabee, Romney, and McClain. Again the voter turnout is strong. But how much more stronger could it be with everyone free to vote whenever they wanted to doing an election day Holiday?
In many countries across the globe voting is compulsory and the voter turnout is consistently 80% to 95%, with Australia having the highest voter percentage. Why Australia? Because they have compulsory voting. Of course we cannot have compulsory voting in America, but we can do all we can to encourage more voter turnout by having a election day holiday.
Our holidays are really important occasions, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Years, Martin Luther King, President’s Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, why not add another, Election Day!