Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, stands in the Capitol, Feb. 27, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Bernie Sanders wants to make Election Day a national holiday


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.