Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: abolish Columbus Day, replace it with Voting Day


Tell that to the hundreds of millions of people that work during weekdays.
Expand voting by mail I guess.


…whose employers are legally required to give them the time off that is required to vote here (generally about fifteen minutes). Most of them would have already taken advantage of the easily-accessible early voting, however.

You understand that there are people who work on public holidays, too? Hospitals, firefighters, transit workers, etc. The idea is to minimise the number of people working on election day, not eliminate it entirely.

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I’m fine with getting rid of Columbus Day, but a holiday on vacation day is a problem for me.

The people who get days off like that are more likely to be Republicans – white collar workers.

The people who don’t get days off like that are more likely to be Democrats – blue collar workers, police, custodians, customer service reps, retail workers, etc.

A better solution to increase voting participation is early voting, mail-in voting, online voting. Give a holiday and low-participation voters will plan a holiday and not a voting day.

It’s nice in that it shows, “Hey, we value voting so much we’re delcaring a holiday!” But in terns of increasing participation, I don’t think it will accomplish the goal.


We already have two days for honoring people who fought and/or died for our right to vote (among other things). They’re called Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day. Voting is a civic action. Don’t tie it up with the militaristic jingoism that the rest of our politics has descended into.

Time off to vote is also not a universal guarantee.

There’s a pretty high correlation between states where you either don’t get any time off or where the time off that you do get is unpaid, and states where there seem to regularly be hours-long waits at poling places. Especially (but completely unsurprisingly) in the South.

IMO, anything less than universal vote-by-mail with the ability to verify one’s ballot has been counted is not going to do enough to make it possible for the people who are disproportionately affected by our current election day processes to turn out in greater numbers. Washington State has have vote-by-mail for years, long enough that a 70% turnout rate for a federal election is now considered low.


Veteran’s Day is already highly problematic.


Good luck scrubbing the Columbus mythos from American minds. He didn’t discover shit that people didn’t already know about (sorry, the local brown people knew, but that doesn’t count).

Kinda wish Columbus landed on North Sentinel Island instead. I’m sure the locals would have been happy to have him and his crew for dinner.


The people who fought for most Americans’ right to vote had nothing to do with the military. Most Americans owe their ability to vote to activist groups like the women’s suffrage movement and the NAACP.


Also a very valid point, and all the more reason not to tie voting to military hero-worship.


You were the one who assumed “those who fought and died for our right to vote” was a reference to the military.


The problem with that is the Constitution. Changing Election Day would require a Constituional Amendment.


That began here with @Extra_Moist, I think.


You can, sort of.
Budget allocations.


That’s some A+ trolling, right there. She’s also right.

Man, I be there are a bunch of people who get Christmas off who aren’t Christians, too!


My response was made in the context of the wording used by @Extra_Moist, who wanted to move election day to be more closely aligned with Veterans’ Day – which is pretty explicitly a military holiday – with phrasing that reflects the “if you can read this in English, thank a soldier / they died for our freedoms!” attitude toward the military protection of civil rights that has infested the national dialog. If that was not their intended context, then I apologize.

Of course, even framing election day around a new holiday that would actually focus on the struggles of civil rights pioneers doesn’t get at the root problem of holidays not being an equal opportunity day off for everyone.


And non-Pagans celebrate Easter with eggs and rabbits; go figure.


Public transportation in the USA needs to exist first. But even better would be to make sure that everyone is in walking distance of their polling place, and that people who can’t walk have some kind of free and convenient alternative.


See, it pays to VOTE, we just got us a gem of a human being in US Congress.


That’s nice but how about a system that’s already been long proven which doesn’t even require you to have a day off in order to get somewhere, or battle the prospect of lines, hacked/corrupt/battery-less machines, etc in the first place? It’s called vote by motherf’n mail. WA, CA, and OR conduct all elections by mail and it makes the polls (and their persistent side effects) look stupid. Really stupid actually.

I get that there’s a feeling of civic duty fulfilled, and satisfaction of being around others doing likewise, I get that. But we’re well beyond that now. The root level of our democratic system has never been more vulnerable or compromised. It’s going to get worse before it gets better unless there’s some substantial outrage. Vote by mail (as primary but not exclusive means) has already been proven far more effective in combating voter suppression shenanigans and significantly improves participation. Paper is far more hack proof relative to electronic voting, so integrity (including recount) is maintained as it essentially has been (by and large) for decades. Do you think the GOP wants nation wide VBM? Of course they don’t. A national voting day would be great, but still lacks the sweeping problem solving and basic protection powers VBM has, which works at a far more intimate user level.

Speaking of sheer usability, in person voters don’t know what their missing. You can take your sweet time, vote thoughtfully, even discuss with friends/partners/family WHILE voting. WTF. This is like selling the idea of a fork to spoon-only people. The vote by mail system isn’t infallible, but the argument that it’s miles better basically is. Envelopes are far more portable than people.

After all we’ve seen, including the rampant gerrymandering, the broad-daylight disenfranchisement, and especially after this year’s ugly mid-terms, everyone should be all hands on this shit. Starting now. Not later. Call your rep. Join a local Indivisible group (their such great people). Boing Boing would do well by adopting it as a permanent, persistent crusade until all the spoon people are informed and enlightened, and demand what they’re entitled to.


…and in Canada, any employee must be given up to three consecutive hours off to go vote.


I’m really liking her more and more. I was excited and interested in her messaging when she ran in the primary and talking to friends (mid-50s age folks) in the area it was evident they were excited about her ideas as well. You don’t need to be rich to serve and contribute. She’s off to a great start. Let’s hope DC doesn’t corrupt her (ever).

And a national voting day sounds good to me. No way the Rs want this tho… they’ll fight it since they depend on suppressing votes at this point. See WI for a good example of how awful gerrymandering etc is. Criminal.