Recently Senator Herb Kohl wrote a piece appearing in the Monroe Times suggesting that elections happen on the weekend. As we saw on April 1, an embarrassing number of people just don’t make it to the polls, leaving the decisions to a very few. Although higher profile elections bring out a lot more voters, the participation is still severely lacking. In the piece Senator Kohl cites legislation that he reintroduced in the U.S. Senate changing our national election day to the weekend.
Senator Kohl’s legislation would move Election Day from the first Tuesday in November to the first weekend in November. People would actually get two full days to make it to the polls. This would give voters the best opportunity to vote because it would take place over two days, during a part of the week when most people have some free time. This plan would also greatly reduce long waits at the polls, a factor that has also driven down participation. Because Senator Kohl’s plan would require polling places to be open over a two day period, he has worked in some federal aid to help lesson any burden on facilities and poll workers.
Every election cycle we rightfully complain about low participation, but Senator Kohl is providing leadership to help solve this problem. There simply is no downside to his proposal and everyone should be able to enthusiastically get behind it. Who could possibly take issue with making voting easier? Actually I have a few ideas, but I wont go there.