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City Council to consider turning Election Day into a holiday

NorthEndWaterfront.com reports on a proposal by Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) to start by giving city workers the day off or maybe switching from Columbus Day to Election Day. O'Malley bemoans turnout in municipal elections of just 25%, which could, of course, also be improved by shifting city elections to the same years as state elections, but, of course, that would simply be unpossible.



Should be a Federal holiday imo, but if enough states start doing this kind of thing it may push us in that direction.

After Cheetolini's reign of disfunction is over of course.


It should be a federal holiday so that most workers get the day off.

Given that the city already makes it easy for municipal workers to take time off to vote (as they should) there's no public policy reason to give them another vacation day.

The better play is go to the Oregon route and make all elections mail-in only.


A mail-in ballot says whatever your boss, or your husband, or anybody in a position of authority over you wants it to say.

A ballot marked in a private booth, into which no cameras or cell phones are allowed, says what the voter wants it to say.


As of right now, a scummy employer can just not give their employees time off to go vote.

It's more important to get people voting. Mail-in ballots for everyone is perhaps the best option, followed by a weekend or federal holiday election day.

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I've only been proposing that we shift Mayoral elections to same time as Presidential with then city council elections at same time as congressional for 15 years or so. With my good friend Matt O'Malley right next to me.

Don't forget this would also save millions and millions of dollars in election costs !!! But why would we do that when we can just bemoan low turnout and give city workers another day off!

Not everyone with orange hair is a clown!!!!


This is more likely to lower voter turnout than to raise it. People will use it as a four day weekend, and then they'll be out of town and won't vote. How about just giving people up to two hours of paid time off on election day to vote -- but for it to be paid they have to show up to work with an "I voted" sticker.

Many people face a commute that's longer than an hour and lines at polls can also be that long. Allowing mail-in voting for everyone, not just absentees, is an excellent idea.


They have to commute whether or not they vote. Voting doesn't make their commuting time longer. If the commute usually takes them from 8 AM to 9 AM, they can spend from 8 AM to 10 AM voting, and get to work by 11, and get paid for the extra two hours.

Any election authority that allows lines to be longer than 15 minutes or so is suppressing the vote and should be ordered by a court to fix the problem.


The set of paid holidays is written into the collective bargaining agreements so the City Council can't just change that willy-nilly. I'm not sure the unions would be on-board with giving up a holiday in October for one that would be so close to Veterans' Day.

And... "O’Malley pointed out that Boston has a history of creating special holidays in the city like Bunker Hill Day and Evacuation Day." Boston also has a history of taking those days away from its employees; those are no longer holidays for City employees, and only employees hired before 2013 receive floating holidays as consideration for those eliminated holidays.

Further, most employees with over 10 years' service are exempt from the City residency requirement, so many of those employees wouldn't be voting in the City even with a paid day off...

The question about Columbus Day is a separate one. I bet most city employees would be fine exchanging Columbus Day for another day off after Christmas or Thanksgiving.

There's no reason why in 2019 the City of Boston still honors Christopher Columbus.

I love how they assume a low voter turnout is because its difficult to juggle a job and vote on the same day. Could a low turnout be because most people dont give a shit? Giving them the day off means they can not give a shit at home.

"Could a low turnout be because most people dont give a shit?"

Sure! Anything could be because of anything.

Is it, though? If you're actually asking this question, there's plenty of information available online to help you answer it.

Of course, if you're actually just stating your opinion in the form of a question, carry on.

Election Day is the one day when city employees need to be on the job and singularly focused on running a smooth election.

If Election Day were turned into a holiday, there would be much longer lines at the election polls.