Michigan official: Election Day should be a worker holiday

Michigan

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, voters cast their ballots, in Gates Mills, Ohio. An Associated Press review has found that thousands of Ohio voters were held up or stymied in their efforts to get absentee ballots by mail in 2018’s general election because of a missing or mismatched signature on their ballot application. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging businesses to give their workers the day off on Election Day by making it a company holiday.

Benson said she’s encouraging Michigan companies to give employees the day off work on Nov. 3, so they can vote and work as poll workers. She praised Wayne State University for recently announcing such a move, according to reports from our media partners at MLive.

“That’s the direction we should be moving in,” Benson said.

Keith E. Whitfield, Wayne State’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said that Nov. 3 will be a university holiday, with no classes held and only essential employees reporting to work.

“We hope that faculty, staff and students will take advantage of the Election Day holiday to exercise their civic duty and participate in these important national elections,” Whitfield wrote.

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri, D-Brownstown, has a bill pending before the state legislature that would make regularly-scheduled election days in May, August and November state holidays.

When the state makes days like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day state holidays, he said, “many other businesses end up following suit.”

His dad is a UAW autoworker who has traditionally gotten Election Day off as part of the contract the union negotiated, he said.

“I think that we want to make it as broad as possible, as easy as possible for people to participate in our elections,” Camilleri said.

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