Thursday, November 12, 2015

Proposal to combine Veterans Day with a National Election Day

Yesterday's Daily Star had an editorial proposing a national holiday for voting and celebrating our veterans.

One of the saddest statistics in America today is the low rate of voter turnout. In the 2012 presidential election, only 57.5 percent of eligible voters turned out. That number is sobering. Even worse is having to go back to 1896 to find a rate significantly higher (79 percent). The oft-repeated reason for the low rate is that potential voters don’t think their vote will matter.

By combining Veterans Day and Election Day into one national holiday we, as a nation, can provide eligible voters with a whole new reason to vote — to honor the veterans who have given so much to protect this right.

In 2014, Election Day did fall on Veterans Day. Now we need to make that permanent. A group of students has become interested in pursuing this effort, and you will be able to follow their work on VetDayVoteDay.org

I am for anything that increases voter turnout. Declaring a national holiday for elections has been suggested before. But this proposal, to combine it with Veterans Day, has an interesting twist that may have occurred to you. There is a contingent of Republican politicians that want to suppress voting because having lots of people vote is not in their political interests. Will said politicians oppose the creation of a combined Veterans/Election holiday? And if that holiday is realized, will said politicians diss our veterans in order to suppress the vote?

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