Cabrini giving off for Election Day?

By Stephanie McClelland
March 10, 2019

The General Election Day is the day set by law that takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November and is the election that determines who the next President of the United States is going to be. Back in 1845, the United States was a society that mostly relied on agriculture and so the reason that Election Day was set to take place on a Tuesday was because farmers would need a full day to travel so that they could vote without interfering with Sunday mass or market day which took place on a Wednesday.

Today the U.S. is not as much of an agricultural society and Tuesday is an average workday for a majority of people who can vote making it difficult for them to make it to the polls thus decreasing voter turnout. Many arguments have been made to try and fix this issue such as changing the date of Election Day, allowing voters to vote over a period of two days, allowing paid time off for employees to go vote, and of course making Election Day a federal holiday.

Private institutions are not required to acknowledge federal holidays and can decide for themselves whether to remain open or not on that day. Therefore if Election Day were to become a federal holiday Cabrini would not be required by law to respect it and treat it as such and could essentially still hold classes even though it would make it difficult for its students to make it to the polls.

“If we were to put aside other voter initiatives (early voting, open primaries, etc) and the Federal Govt. makes the General Election Day a Federal Holiday, yes we would honor that,” Chief of Staff and Vice President of External Relations at Cabrini University Brian Eury said.

A number of states have already taken it upon themselves to declare Election Day a civic holiday such as Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey, Montana, New York, Ohio, Hawaii, West Virginia and the territory of Puerto Rico. A few other states allow workers to take time off with pay. California and New York provide employees, who struggle to find any time to vote, two hours off with pay during their shift.

“I think that making Election Day a national holiday would increase the voting outcome because this way people who work long hours or have job interferences would be able to get to voting stations with ease.” Diana Whittaker, education major at Cabrini University, said, “I think that having a say and being able to vote is a very important right that I would like to process and encourage other people to use, not taking advantage of this right is wasteful.”

Democrats in the State House are looking at ways to make voting easier in Pennsylvania as well. They want to introduce multiple bills to push for more people in Pennsylvania to vote. These bills include ideas such as early voting, voting by mail and making Election Day a holiday. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has stated his support of these bills.

It looks like there is going to be major shifts with this day and it will be interesting to see how it will change society should it be declared a federal holiday. It would certainly make it easier for a lot of people to get to the polls, including Cabrini’s students because Cabrini would honor that holiday, and that could drastically affect voter turnout.



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Stephanie McClelland

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