by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is out with yet another plan that we’re told is “transformational.” Taking House Democrats’ election bill a step further, the senator from Massachusetts would have the federal government effectively take over national elections and mandate automatic and same-day voter registration. Like the House plan, it would also make Election Day a federal holiday, a proposal that would be dead on arrival in a Republican Senate (and in most states).
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could always offer a deal: make Election Day a federal holiday and move it to the day after Tax Day.
Unless you serve in the military, obtain federal benefits or healthcare, or violate federal law, the most common contact Americans have with the federal government is through the payment of federal income taxes. Voters ought to be reminded of that as they head to the polls.
After all, the voters paying the greatest burden of federal income taxes are the ones who would benefit the most from making Election Day a federal holiday. According to 2014 Census data, more than a third of voters from households earning over $150,000 claimed to be too busy to head to the polls. In contrast, as Slate notes, “none of the income brackets less than $40,000 had more than 25 percent of respondents report they were too busy.”