Here at VERIFY, our mission is to stop the spread of misinformation, which includes answering common questions surrounding the voting process
The midterm elections this year are on Nov. 8, a day when many people across the country will take time out of their day to head to the polls. But does that mean taking time off from work? Is Election Day a federal holiday, like Thanksgiving or Memorial Day?
That’s the question people are searching for on Google, according to search trends data.
This reporting is part of a series of stories ahead of the midterm elections. If you have any questions about the elections, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on social media @verifythis.
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Is Election Day a federal holiday?
- Congressional Research Service
- Election Day Holiday Act of 2021
- Freedom to Vote Act
- Several state election statutes on voting rights
No, Election Day is not a federal holiday.
WHAT WE FOUND
There are currently 12 federal holidays, with the most recent addition being Juneteenth National Independence Day.
Of those 12 federal holidays, Election Day is not one of them. Congress has to approve the designation of federal holidays, which are then signed into law by the sitting president, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
But there are states that have voted to make Election Day a state holiday.
Illinois, West Virginia and New York are among states that have classified general Election Day, held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years, as a state holiday, where employers are required to give time off for voting.
In states like Montana and Indiana, Election Day is considered a state holiday and some state offices are closed, but employers are not required to provide time or pay to give Election Day off.
Colorado and California are two states that don’t consider Election Day as a state holiday, but do require employers to pay their employees if they need to take time off to head to the polls.
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Several lawmakers and President Joe Biden have tried to make a case for making the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which is always election day, a federal holiday.
In 2021, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Election Day Holiday Act of 2021 in the House. There has been no further action since the bill was introduced. The Freedom to Vote Act was introduced to the Senate in 2021 by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would make Election Day a federal holiday and implement other changes to the voting process. There has been no further action on that bill since it was introduced in the Senate.
On June 24, 2021, during his remarks about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, President Joe Biden spoke of voting rights and his hope to make it easier for eligible Americans to make it to the polls.
“If I had my way — and I think it’s really important — that every Election Day would be a day off because people can’t go to — people who work certain shifts can’t make it to the election,” he said.
You can find out if your state considers Election Day a holiday checking with your state’s human resources or employment office. You can find your polling place and hours by visiting your state’s department of elections or secretary of state website.
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