California Assemblyman Reintroduces Bill To Make Voting Day A State Holiday

January 15, 2019 8:00 am · 35 comments

Assemblyman Evan Low reintroduced a bill in the California State Legislature to make Election Day a state holiday.

The move was prompted by historically low voter turnout during the General Election in November 2014, according to Low’s office, and hopes to remove financial roadblocks for low-income voters. This is the second time
the bill has been reintroduced.

“When less than half of the electorate shows up to vote, our democracy suffers,” Low said in a statement.

The holiday would be scheduled on the first Tuesday in November of each statewide or national election year.

Low introduced the same bill in February 2017 and 2018, but it died both times. Assembly Bill 177 will now be heard in the Assembly Elections & Redistricting Committee over the next several months.

“We need to continue to make voting as easy as possible and this is one way to do it,” coauthor Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with Assemblymember Low on finding a cost-effective way to make the ballot box more accessible.”

WC January 15, 2019 at 8:05 AM

Why do we need this with vote harvesting?

Barney R January 15, 2019 at 8:17 AM

This is stupid!
Employers by state law are required to give time off to vote so why does there need to be a state holiday?
If you have such a problem getting to vote then do absentee voting.
Ca has gone way beyond stupid with some of the things they try and succeed to push through.
What’s next Ca acstate holiday to pick up food stamps, welfare checks or unemployment?

Justifiable anger January 15, 2019 at 8:34 AM

A paid holiday? We have mail in and drop off voting. Don’t our legislators have better things to do?

Absolutely not.

Kyburz66 January 15, 2019 at 8:35 AM

Just what federal and state employees need is another day off paid by us tax payers who will be WORKING!

DVC Student January 15, 2019 at 8:36 AM

Polls are open at 7 AM and close at 8 PM.
Well after working hours for everyone to get to the polling place in addition to being able to mail in your ballot. And since only 25% of the eligible population actually vote, there’s no need to make a holiday for the rest.

Bobby January 15, 2019 at 9:02 AM

In favor. Making it easier for people to vote is important.

Justifiable anger January 15, 2019 at 12:47 PM

Mail in. Drop off. It is very easy to vote.

Sara January 15, 2019 at 9:04 AM

It’s called vote by mail.

d. anderson January 15, 2019 at 9:05 AM

A lot of people, including myself, mail in their ballot. It certainly beats going to a polling place. I, therefore, don’t think a holiday for election day is necessary. More than likely, some people wouldn’t vote even if there was a holiday.

Ilovepopcorn January 15, 2019 at 9:23 AM

Redicules idea! Because then they will use that day exactly for what it is!
Partying! A day off!

CDE Watcher January 15, 2019 at 9:27 AM

Public schools will hurt. Any proposed holiday leads to lower attendance rate. Being a Tuesday, even worse. What is better for schools is for elections to be held over two days, Saturday and Sunday, when use of school facilities are requested. Two days surely provides more opportunity when mailing or drop off options aren’t used. Elections held during while school is in session is high risk. There is no guarantee of separation, as much as the schools try, between students and voters.

pac islander January 15, 2019 at 9:34 AM

How about submit your ballot with your taxes….

PO'd January 15, 2019 at 9:41 AM

Not necessary when there are absentee ballots available. If you can’t get it together to go vote, then that means you don’t understand the significance
of an election.

Silva January 15, 2019 at 9:43 AM

Just make voting mandatory.

Dorothy January 15, 2019 at 10:19 AM

Yes – with no extra day off as well. Move it to a weekend.

Barney R January 15, 2019 at 11:02 AM

Mandatory? That would be more stupid than this this bill..

Cellophane January 15, 2019 at 12:11 PM

Mandatory voting.

Now there’s a new and progressive idea.

It really takes too long to make all the choices so there should only be one person on the ballot of each office.

If someone misses voting, the only acceptable excuse is that they died on the way to the polling place.

Otherwise, it’s life on the rock pile.

Cowellian January 15, 2019 at 12:52 PM


Frankly, if someone doesn’t care enough to voluntarily vote, I don’t care if they never vote.

Rollo Tomasi January 15, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Silva and I disagree on a lot of subjects, but I’m pretty sure that comment was tongue in cheek.

Steve January 15, 2019 at 4:43 PM

I will never vote and will never register, but just sit back and pay my taxes, its all a huge waste of time all this political crap. Make it a day off, I’d love an extra day off.

tired of taxes January 15, 2019 at 10:42 AM

I think making voting day a state holiday will gain more traction if you set voting day to be the day after Superbowl.

Concord Grape January 15, 2019 at 11:25 AM

If the candidates running for office were worth voting for instead of the A–holes in office now maybe voting would be worth it I still vote but usually write in ( Mickey Mouse, Goofy etc )

ranchogirl January 15, 2019 at 11:29 AM

how about starting to ask for ID first….

Pyrrhus January 15, 2019 at 11:39 AM

It shouldn’t be just one day of voting. Make it a week with a weekend. Also, everyone should be automatically registered to vote and be mailed a ballot. After that, it’s just the laziness of the public and you can’t do anything about that other than give them something they care about to vote on.

Nature Lover January 15, 2019 at 11:53 AM

Just another example of this Legislator’s Nanny State mentality. If you are too lazy to request a mail in ballot or too inept make time on Election Day, shame on you.

Patty January 15, 2019 at 11:56 AM

What evidence is there that shows voter participation would increase if Election Day was a Holiday? Instead of voting, people would spend the day at the beach or Disneyland. And who would count the vote if it were a Holiday? County employees would have the day off. Stupid idea. This is what we get with Dems having 2/3 of the elected state officials. They have all the time in the world to waste on stupid ideas.

Double Dzzz January 15, 2019 at 12:48 PM

People have plenty of time to vote already. we don,t need a holiday for this. I vote by mail which is fine. on another topic, voting is corrupt in California with non citizen voting is what needs to be fixed anyway. Really America !

martinezmike January 15, 2019 at 1:16 PM

Even Lower. How about a bill making every day a holiday?

Justifiable anger January 15, 2019 at 2:01 PM

If voters are not motivated enough to mail or drop off a week ahead of time, then they probably have not researched the issues and therefore should not vote. Too many idiots are walking us off the cliff.

Absolutely NOT.

ZZ January 15, 2019 at 3:21 PM

So stupid.

Sign from Above January 15, 2019 at 3:21 PM

Another example of garbage legislation. He must be hanging out with Wiener! That’s not why the voted you into office knucklehead. Come up with something constructive!

Mark January 15, 2019 at 6:35 PM

Yay! State employees get another paid holiday!!! So they can vote!!!
(Everybody else still gets to work that day, does you company recognize every single state or federal holiday?)

chuckie the troll January 15, 2019 at 11:10 PM

Another paid Holiday??? Why? Vote by mail is available to everyone. People skip voting for many reasons. Having to work was never a barrier to voting before.

Iluvpopcorn January 16, 2019 at 9:59 AM

Ok this is a waste of our taxpayers moola. Now all this is would be for folks who know about voting and do not participate will have another time to party and have a nice day off. REDICULES! The author of this legislation is a dreamer and gives way too much credit to the idiots who do not care about anything but themselves. Has not nothing to do with being able to vote or not. They could care less.

laugh out loud January 16, 2019 at 10:37 AM

No way! Most people will not get a state holiday off except state workers. Who won’t be working?
Elections Division
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: (916) 657-2166
Fax:(916) 653-3214
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(excluding state holidays)

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