President Obama: We Should Make Voting Day A National Holiday

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President Obama recently expressed support for making election day a national holiday -or enacting some measure with a similar effect. As has been obscenely shown in the primary season this year, and as Obama said:

‘We are the only advanced democracy that makes it deliberately difficult for people to vote.’

‘[I]n many other countries, the government automatically registers voters and holds elections on days that are weekend days or national holidays. Do you think it’s time for the U.S. to follow their lead?’

“Absolutely. We are the only advanced democracy that makes it deliberately difficult for people to vote. And some of it has to do with the nature of our history and our Constitution, where we allow individual states to determine their own processes for structuring elections within certain boundaries…And so everything we can do to make sure that we’re increasing participation is something that we should promote and encourage. Our democracy is not going to function well when only half or a third of eligible voters are participating. The single most dramatic political change that could occur in this country—and the best way for us to relieve the frustrations that people feel around the political process—would be if we had greater participation that was more reflective of the day-to-day concerns that people have.’

President Barack Obama

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