Losing a holiday might be cause for disappointment—unless you’re living in Virginia and that holiday is potentially being replaced by a better one. This week, the Virginia House voted to get rid of Lee-Jackson Day—itself a huge step in addressing the problem of honoring Confederate leaders such as Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (they fought to keep human beings in bondage, and they lost—let’s move on).
But they’re not done yet. In place of Lee-Jackson Day, the Virginia House proposed replacing it with Election Day—which will make it easier for Virginians to vote.
Gov. Ralph Northam included the measure in his 2020 legislative proposals.
“We need to make Election Day a holiday. We can do it by ending the Lee-Jackson holiday that Virginia holds,” Northam said in his State of the Commonwealth speech last month. “It commemorates a lost cause. It’s time to move on.”
Jackson-Lee Day was observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January. Election Day is the first Tuesday after the First Monday in November. The Virginia Senate passed an identical bill last month, and both chambers will need to approve the legislation before it goes to Northam.
In January 2019, Democrats proposed a bill that would make Election Day a national holiday, but sentient turd Mitch McConnell said the measure would essentially pay government workers to “hang out at the polls during an election” or campaign for candidates.
Supporters of making Election Day a holiday explain that voter turnout can improve because it makes it easier for working folks and caregivers to find time in their busy day to go out and vote. Several states and cities have already made Election Day a holiday, including Hawaii, Kentucky, Delaware, and New York.
🗳️ Big news out of Virginia, where Election Day is now a state holiday. It’s time for other states to catch up. https://t.co/T8n1QxP32l
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 7, 2020
“Making election day a holiday serves a much more honorable purpose in this day and age than celebrating the ghosts of Virginia’s Confederate past,” said Del. Joe Lindsey, a Democrat and the House bill’s sponsor.