I assume that most are now aware that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has sharply criticized House Democrats’ Bill HR-1, which includes, among other electoral reform changes, a provision designating federal election days as paid holidays for federal workers. (There are many parts of the bill that seem, at least as reported, sensible to me, but I haven’t read the bill and a reaction to its overall effect is beyond the scope of this note and at least as of today, my ken.) No end of pundits have hooted at Sen. McConnell’s comments, noting that they constitute a tacit admission of what voting statistics have consistently shown for quite a while: at least in politically purple areas of the country, the more people that vote, the better the Democrats fare.
While I deplore Mr. McConnell’s obvious sentiment – as dewy-eyed as I know it sounds, every American should hope that every American that is legally eligible to vote does so – I concur with the premise that we do not need additional federal cost without productivity at a time of spiraling deficits. I would suggest that Democrats call Mr. McConnell’s bid, and raise: offer a separate bill that makes federal election days national holidays (a counter that would cover all of our nation’s workers, not just federal employees) while providing that Presidents’ Day (which is apparently technically still called, “Washington’s Birthday”) shall only be observed as a national holiday in years in which federal elections are not held. (I originally considered the notion that Election Day replace Columbus Day, which is closer on the calendar to federal election days, but I understand that not all states heed Columbus Day.) It does not seem Noise to suggest that the Father of our Nation might consider a change to federal law that made it easier for more Americans to vote a greater testament to his legacy than remembering his birthday; I know I would.
Such a modification to the Democrats’ current measure would facilitate voting by our citizens while not increasing federal costs. [Somehow, I still don’t think Sen. McConnell will go for it ;)].