Skubick: Election Day as a state holiday? Here’s how that could happen.

Michigan

Election Day in Michigan would become a state holiday if a Lansing and Detroit lawmaker get their plan approved.  

Workers get time off for Memorial Day and for the fireworks on Independence Day.

So why not give everyone the day off to vote?

“We celebrate the 4th of July. We celebrate birthdays. We should celebrate the right to vote,” claims Detroit State Representative Leslie Love.

Rep. Love and Lansing Democrat Kara Hope are pushing this holiday, calling it the Hope-Love bill.

Here’s how it would work: Workers would be given the day off and employers would be asked to give each of them half-a-day’s wages.

But that would to be mandatory.

Rep. Love: “It encourages and says to employers they may give their employees the day off with half pay so they can vote.”

Skubick: “So it’s optional. If they don’t, you still get the time off.”

Rep. Love: “Right.  We don’t want people to lose their jobs for trying to exercise their right to vote.”

The closest the state has come to a proposal such as this was years ago when the UAW negotiated to get election day off with the car makers.

The Michigan Federation if Independent Business is a “No” vote on this.  

Some on the House floor, if that gets the far, could argue there is no guarantee that employees will find something else to do and miss voting altogether

“They said the same thing when we got Martin Luther King Day,” argues Rep. Love. “Maybe people would be more encouraged and inspired to come out and participate.”

Which may be another reason Republicans might deep six this plan.

Since Michigan traditionally has more Democrats as Republicans, the last thing the Republican Party wants is to see more Democrats show up at the polls.  

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