After surging in 2012, turnout in Tuesday’s midterm elections dropped to around 37%—potentially a record low that raises real questions about just how representative Congress is of the American people.
That’s why Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is proposing to make Election Day into a national holiday which would make it much easier to get to the polls. It would especially low-income Americans, who often work long hours and can’t afford to take time off to vote.
“We should not be satisfied with a ‘democracy’ in which more than 60% of our people don’t vote and some 80% of young people and low-income Americans fail to vote,” said Sanders.
The idea isn’t likely to go anywhere in the GOP-controlled Congress. But if it helps focus attention on the chronic problem of low turnout, especially in midterm elections, it’ll be worthwhile.