In CA, Take A Day Off To Vote, Maybe
Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Exciting news just announced by friend of Why Tuesday? and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen: if a new initiative makes the ballot and is passed by the voters of California, those of us who live in the Golden State may have the Tuesday after the first Monday in November (also known as federal Election Day) off from work. Here are the details from LAist.
Although our state Elections Code (Section 14000) stipulates that employees must be granted two hours of paid time, at the start or end of their shift, in order to go vote, [initiative backer Roy] Benson believes that making the day a holiday will find more people at the polls. In February, Benson posted to a Facebook group set up to support his initiative: “Election Day a public Holiday – to increase voter turnout, confidence in our election process, a step towards ‘in Order to form a more perfect Union.'”
Here’s the text of Benson’s proposed initiative right now as prepared by the Attorney General:
ELECTION DAY HOLIDAY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Establishes an Election Day state holiday as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November during even-numbered years. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state costs once every two years of probably less than $20 million. (11-0001.)
Bowen’s office describes the steps Benson must take to move forward:
[Benson] must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by September 1, 2011.
Here’s the complete blog post from LAist. As you know if you follow us here, San Francisco recently passed a weekend voting law, and Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, supports a similar idea there.
Photo of California flag via Kelzan on Flickr.