Initiative Seeks To Make Election Day A Holiday

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If Election Day were a holiday, would that boost voter turnout?

That’s the thought behind a ballot initiative that was given approval Wednesday to begin gathering signatures. Backers of the initiative must collect valid signatures from 504,760 registered voters by Sept. 1 to qualify for the ballot.

One of the initiative’s backers, Roy Benson, says making Election Day a holiday for presidential and gubernatorial elections would boost voter turnout.

Analysts say the measure would result in increased costs to state government of probably less than $20 million once every two years for extra pay for state employees required to work on a holiday.

Public agencies have tried a variety of ways to boost voter turnout. The city of Los Angeles, for example, relaxes parking restrictions and enforcement near polling places on Election Day.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • swhitS

    I say it would make it harder to go and vote for any day off is usually planed with something good happening.

  • CAN

    This is STUPID. Those who take their civic responsibility seriously will continue to vote while those that don’t, won’t. we have options such as absentee and drop off ballots. Making a holiday will only reward those who don’t vote by giving them time off – and with pay in many cases.

    • mister s


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