Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a solution for low voter turnout: make election day a national holiday.
The proposed holiday would be known as “Democracy Day.” Sanders says of the proposed legislation, “We should be celebrating our democracy and doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process.”
Sanders is proposing the bill to get a better turnout among younger and lower income voters. In a statement on his website, he says:
Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote. While this would not be a cure-all, it would indicate a national commitment to create a more vibrant democracy.
We should not be satisfied with a “democracy” in which more than 60 percent of our people don’t vote and some 80 percent of young people and low-income Americans fail to vote. We can and must do better than that. While we must also focus on campaign finance reform and public funding of elections, establishing an Election Day holiday would be an important step forward.
The draft of the legislation is included below.