- Yaw Akuffo-Anoff
New Proposed Bill Seeks To Make General Election Day A State Holiday
In 2020, roughly seventy-eight percent of eligible Maine voters cast their ballots in the November election. Voter participation in that general election placed Maine among a handful of states to register the highest turnout in the nation. Now lawmakers are looking to bring even more eligible voters into the fold.
Representative Benjamin Collings has introduced LD 1239: "An Act to Make General Election Day a State Holiday and to Allow Certain Employees an Opportunity to Vote"
The proposal would:
designate Election Day as a state holiday.
establish a requirement that employers provide an employee three consecutive hours in which to vote on the day of the general election.
direct employers to provide employees paid time off sufficient to allow them three consecutive hours in which to vote.
direct the Secretary of State to prepare and supply employers with a notice of the aforementioned requirements to be posted in the workplace at least ten days before each general election.
LD 1239 would provide employees greater flexibility to take part in general elections and have their voices heard on critical issues affecting their communities. This legislation would go a long way to support employees who struggle with taking time off from work in order to vote.
Democracy works best when all eligible voters are able to participate in the electoral process. We urge lawmakers to pass this bill and make general elections more accessible to working Mainers.