Should Grand Junction Have Election Day Off?
There is a nationwide movement called "Take Off Election Day" that has gotten hundreds of mostly smaller tech companies to give their employees Election Day, November 8th, off as a way to encourage them to vote and make it easier for them to do so.
Census data has shown – the primary reason Americans don’t vote is that it’s inconvenient to do so. Between work, family responsibilities, and commuting traffic, it’s no wonder turnout is so low.
But what if we made Election Day a federal holiday? Columbus Day, Presidents’ Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday are all federal holidays – scheduled around weekends for convenience. Doesn’t it make sense to give voters the day off, too?
There are over 300 companies, mainly in the Silicon Valley, that signed up for the day off. Spotify, TaskRabbit, and other tech companies are on board. There's at least one non-tech, big name brand doing the same thing, with Patagonia saying that it will give its workers Election Day off, providing it as a paid holiday for the first time. The outdoor clothing and gear company has been mounted nonpartisan environmental campaigns during election years for more than a decade and said it wants to encourage its employees to have the time to elect candidates at all levels of government who will protect the environment.
Perhaps local Grand Junction employers should follow their lead? There's no question voting can be a hassle. However, we can't make " it’s inconvenient to do so" an excuse. Voting is a special privilege granted us American's and deserved to be treated with respect. A day off work? Maybe or maybe not?