Push Underway to Create Election Day Holiday

A commission chaired by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford wants to turn election day into a federal holiday. The commission recommends moving Veterans Day to co-incide with Election Day.

The national committee chaired is striving to improve our election process. One of the ideas is to make the day we elect the president a national holiday. Harrison County election officials say they think it's an idea that could successfully bring out more voters. Harrison County Election Commissioner Tony Jo Diaz says, "Well, it's just like anything else, it would just have to be tested I guess but if it'll bring out the vote, yeah I think it would be a really good idea, I really do."

Harrison County's Circuit Clerk says if more people get out to vote, there could be less absentee voting. "But this may eliminate a lot of that and ya know, people may, if will encourage voter turnout, I think it would be a good idea," says Gayle Parker.

So do some voters we talked to. "Let everybody be off and relax and do what you need to do on election day cause a lot of people, they go to work and forget about or they're too tired and they don't wanna go elect, put their vote in," one voter says. "Some people have to leave on their lunch break to vote and stuff so it would be good," says another. Others say we don't need a holiday to encourage people to cast their ballots. "Why should it be? I see no reason it should be." We can get out and vote. We don't have to get a day off work to vote." "It would cost the nation too much money. "Everyone can get off of work to go to vote. If they don't vote it's not because of work, it's because they don't want to."

But the panel says making election day a federal holiday could be one step in turning voter apathy into voter interest.