Democracy Holiday

Elections in California are held on weekdays when most voters are working

Let’s celebrate democracy. Let’s make it easier to vote!
Let’s make election days “Democracy Holidays”!

• Make the regular November General Election a state holiday 

The November General Election in California is currently held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years, between November 2 and 8, depending upon the year.

Because the November General Election is consolidated with Federal elections for Congress and especially President, California can not move the date.  But California should make it easier to vote that day by making it a state holiday, equivalent to other state holidays .

California should also extend voting hours to 11:59pm on Election Day, so that workers at workplaces that don’t typically shut down for state and federal holidays (e.g. hospitals, hotels, retail, restaurants) can still vote.


2020 State holidays with Democracy Holidays added

Wednesday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Monday, January 13 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 17 – Presidents’ Day
Tuesday, March 3 – Primary Election Day or
Saturday, March 7 – Primary Election Day and
Sunday, March 8 – Primary Election Day

Friday, March 27 – Cesar Chavez Day
Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day
Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day
Monday, September 7 – Labor Day
Tuesday, November 3 – General Election Day
Friday, November 6 – Veterans Day
Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day

Friday, November 27 – Day after Thanksgiving
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day


• Make the regular March Primary Election a state holiday or hold the election over a two-day weekend

The March Primary Election in California is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March in even-numbered years, between March 2 and 8, depending upon the year.

California could make it easier to vote on that Tuesday by making it a state holiday, equivalent to other state holidays. At the same time, because the March Primary is not consolidated with Federal elections, California is not constrained by holding the election on a Tuesday.  Therefore, California could also move its primary elections to a full weekend and hold a two-day, weekend election (something I sponsored as a City Councilmember for a Santa Monica special election in 2003).

The practice of holding elections on Tuesdays originated when the United States was largely an agrarian society and people often traveled at least a day to vote. Tuesday elections allowed people to go to church on Sundays and return home for market day on Wednesdays.

Today we live in a very different world and don’t need to be constrained by 19th century realities that no longer apply today.

Let’s enjoy a 21st century democracy where we celebrate democracy – including by making election days state holidays!