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Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to establish Election Day as a state holiday in Ohio

November 5, 2019
Bride Rose Sweeney News

As Ohioans go to the polls today to cast their ballots, House Democratic Reps. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) will be introducing legislation to make Election Day a paid state holiday for Ohio workers.

“The right to vote is our most fundamental freedom, one that should be easy and accessible for every eligible Ohio voter,” said Crawley. “By making Election Day a state holiday, we will increase voter participation and ensure every voter has the opportunity to make their voices heard and have their vote counted.”

Current Ohio law allows for “reasonable” time off for workers to vote. However, Ohio employers do not have to pay hourly employees for voting leave time. Voting is disproportionately difficult for single parents and those who work multiple jobs. In fact, the number one reason registered voters have cited for not voting on Election Day is being too busy or having a conflicting schedule at work.

“Giving people an equal opportunity to vote shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Most Ohioans still prefer to vote on Election Day itself, and this legislation would help working families overcome weekday barriers to the ballot box,” said Rep. Sweeney.  “Lawmakers have a responsibility to make it easier, not harder, for Ohioans to vote. We must do everything in our power to lift low voter turnout – especially in nonpresidential years – if we are to maintain the integrity of our democracy.”

The majority of Americans have said they support making Election Day a holiday.