New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0720-2019    Version: * Name: Declare Election Day, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, a national holiday.
Type: Resolution Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Governmental Operations
On agenda: 1/24/2019
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the United States Congress to pass, and the President sign, legislation that would declare Election Day, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, a national holiday.
Sponsors: Fernando Cabrera , Andy L. King, Antonio Reynoso, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.
Council Member Sponsors: 4
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 720, 2. January 24, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 3. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 1-24-19

Res. No. 720

 

Resolution calling on the United States Congress to pass, and the President sign, legislation that would declare Election Day, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, a national holiday.

 

By Council Members Cabrera, King, Reynoso and Cornegy

 

Whereas, The Federal law designating Election Day as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November dates back to 1845; and

Whereas, The timing of Election Day was based on the agrarian nature of the United States (U.S.) economy at the time, as November was sufficiently after harvest but before harsh winter weather could keep farmers from accessing the polls; and

Whereas, In 1845, Sunday was largely regarded as a day of rest and worship, not politicking, and was thus avoided as an Election day; and

Whereas, In the 21st Century, the U.S. is one of just nine advanced industrial democracies with national elections held on a weekday, and one of seven countries that do not have national holidays on election days to shield the act of voting from economic hardship; and

Whereas, The majority of countries with membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) hold national elections on a weekend and see high voter turn-out rates than the U.S.; and

Whereas, As compared to other OECD countries, the U.S. placed 26 out of the 32 OECD countries with voting age population turnout estimates, in its most recent 2016 presidential election; and

Whereas, When surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau concerning presidential elections, the reason most cited by nonvoters for not voting was being “too busy” or “having conflicting work schedules;” and

Whereas, Declaring Election Day a federal holiday would address the concern that members of the voting age population, eligible to vote, cannot make the time to vote due to other competing responsibilities; and

Whereas, In New York City, due to poor election administration, many voters waited for two to three hours to cast a ballot in the 2018 general election, and many more were deterred from voting entirely, because they did not have the time to wait in line at the polls; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Council of the City of New York calls on the United States Congress to pass, and the President sign, legislation that would declare Election Day, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, a national holiday.

 

 

LS 8939 (Cabrera), LS8975 (King)

EK

12.26.18