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Weekend Voting, Not Election Holiday

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Everyone loves holidays. A day off from work, often a three-day weekend to travel or relax – who wouldn’t appreciate that? But holidays recognized by the government are also costly. Millions of people taking another day off from work sharply reduces productivity in the country. And, like monuments on the National Mall, there are real limits to the number one can have, and each one needs to go through a thorough and careful vetting process, so that future generations can have room or times to honor other leaders or events.

At one level, as a longtime and strong proponent of making voting easier for all Americans who are eligible, I would love to make Election Day a holiday. Far too many working people are hamstrung on Tuesday; they can vote only before or after work, when the lines are especially long and when people whose livelihoods depend on getting to work on time and getting the hourly pay cannot afford to wait for an hour or more. But adding an Election Day holiday is simply too costly.

Read the rest of Norm Ornstein’s op-ed at The New York Times’ Room For Debate site.

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