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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 11, 2019 01:20 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Removing Columbus Day as a Holiday and Replacing it with an Election Day Holiday
During the majority of the nineteenth century, over 80% of eligible voters regularly showed up to the polls. Today, turn-out rarely surpasses 50%.

Over the past two centuries, our culture has shifted away from one that viewed Election Day with pomp and fanfare when many businesses regularly closed shop while the polls were open, and when many localities recognized Election Day as a public holiday. Ironically, there are holidays that are now more celebrated for annual clearance sales than for appreciation of what the days were set aside to commemorate.

If any day should be recognized as a holiday, it should be Election Day. By so doing, it will remind us just how important it is to embrace participatory democracy, the electoral process and voters’ responsibility to hold incumbents and challengers on the ballot accountable who are running from prothonotary to president.

I am addressing this issue by introducing a package of bills that removes Columbus Day as a holiday and replaces it with an Election Day holiday.

Over one-third of all eligible voters in the United States report that they are unable to make it to the polls because of scheduling conflicts with work or school.

By making Election Day a holiday, we will help to alleviate this issue and provide individuals the necessary time to make it to the polls.

Support these bills and help to ensure all eligible voters can make their voices heard.

Document #1

Introduced as HB2338

Description: Removes references to Columbus Day in the Banking Code of 1965 (P.L. 847, No. 356) and repeals the act of August 13, 1963 (P.L. 660, No. 345), which currently provides for the observance of October 12 of each year as Columbus Day.

Document #2

Introduced as HB2339

Description: Removes references to Columbus Day in the Legal Holiday Law of 1893 (P.L. 188, No. 138).

Document #3

Introduced as HB2340

Description: Requires that governor issue an annual proclamation designating Election Day as a legal holiday and stipulates that public employers, private employers, and public school entities may provide employees sufficient time to exercise their right to vote on Election Day.