Sen. Clinton Pushes for Voting Holiday

  1. Sen. Clinton Pushes for Voting Holiday

    26 minutes ago

    By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (news - web sites), a possible White House candidate in 2008, joined 2004 nominee John Kerry (news - web sites) and other Democrats Thursday in urging that Election Day be made a federal holiday to encourage voting.

    She also pushed for legislation that would allow all ex-felons to vote.

    Standing with Massachusetts Sen. Kerry and other Democrats who had alleged voting irregularities in the 2004 contest, Clinton said, "Once again we had a federal election that demonstrates we have a long way to go."


    "I think it's also necessary to make sure our elections meet the highest national standards," said the New York senator.


    She and Kerry, both considered contenders for the 2008 nomination, were joined by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), D-Ohio, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., who forced a highly unusual House and Senate debate Jan. 6 on the presidential election results.


    Kerry, who lost the national contest by 3.3 million votes nationwide, and 118,000 within Ohio, denied the bill was an attempt to discredit the 2004 results.


    "This has nothing to do with me," said Kerry. "It is not partisan, or shouldn't be."


    Clinton echoed those comments, though her senatorial re-election committee, Friends of Hillary, is pushing the bill hard.


    Visitors to the group's Web site are greeted first with a full-page form asking people to endorse the Count Every Vote Act.


    "My Web site has information about everything I work on. This is one of my biggest priorities and obviously I hope that people who share our goal of making sure every vote counts will support us," said Clinton.


    In addition to creating a federal holiday for voting, the bill would:


    _Require paper receipts for votes.


    _Authorize $500 million to help states make the changes in voting systems and equipment.


    _Allow ex-felons to vote. Currently an estimated 4.7 million Americans are barred from voting because of their criminal records.


    _Require adoption of the changes in time for the 2006 election.


    Boxer said the bill "is meant to ensure the election debacle of 2000, and the serious election irregularities of 2004, never ever happen again."


    Both parties have called for changes to ensure a more accurate vote count. Republican efforts have centered on reducing voter fraud, while Democrats have called for making access to the ballot box easier and simpler.
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    If people can't find the time to do the research and the time to vote, then why make it easier for them to do something that isn't very important to them in the first place?

    I vote NO on voting holiday.

    steph
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I think a voting holiday is at least as important as honoring a dead President.

    Might be a good idea to exchange the voting day for Labor Day. If ever there was a completely useless holiday, that'd be it for me.

    So I'm for it. I know from experience that it can be difficult for people to get to the polls if they have to work long hours and care for children. We're stretched way too thin as it is.
    Then again, maybe those who are working too hard are Dems and the Republicans just couldn't take the challenge of a really good voter turnout?

    PS I cannot believe I agree with Hilly on something! What IS the world coming to? :chuckle
  5. by   BeachNurse
    I am a Republican who works two jobs, and still managed to get up early enough on voting day to be the 4th person in line. I was out of there by 7:15am and on my way to work. I also have three children, one of whom I had to pay extra for the early drop-off to day care.

    Don't worry Steph, if the lazy ones won't come out on a regular voting day, they sure as heck aren't going to turn out on a voting "holiday".
  6. by   UM Review RN
    I replied based on the year I missed a gubernatorial election when I had to work a day-evening double. Polls opened at 0700, which was the time I had to be at work, and closed at 2100. I got out at about 2330.

    I know a few folks who work crazy hours like that.

    Life is tough enough. Voting should be easier, especially in this technological age. I'd love to be able to vote from my home computer, so I'm all for developing new ways to do things.

    After all, if we can renew our car registration and pay our taxes online, there really should be a better way of voting. If a voting holiday would help even a few people, why not?
  7. by   fergus51
    People will still have to take the initiative to get out there and vote, so I don't understand any opposition to ensuring that they have that opportunity.
  8. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I replied based on the year I missed a gubernatorial election when I had to work a day-evening double. Polls opened at 0700, which was the time I had to be at work, and closed at 2100. I got out at about 2330.

    I know a few folks who work crazy hours like that.

    Life is tough enough. Voting should be easier, especially in this technological age. I'd love to be able to vote from my home computer, so I'm all for developing new ways to do things.

    After all, if we can renew our car registration and pay our taxes online, there really should be a better way of voting. If a voting holiday would help even a few people, why not?
    Sounds great, but how would we ever prove who "clicked the button" to cast the vote??? Hanging chads?? Jeez
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from BeachNurse
    Sounds great, but how would we ever prove who "clicked the button" to cast the vote??? Hanging chads?? Jeez
    True - opens up a whole other can of worms, huh?

    steph
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Saying NO to a voting holiday.

    Man, Ms. Clinton just keeps on coming up with those great people-pleasing ideas.

    (I meant that sarcastically of course. IMO she has her own agenda.)
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Glad to live in a state where absentee balloting is allowed as an option. No excuses this way....and it's always convenient.
  12. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Glad to live in a state where absentee balloting is allowed as an option. No excuses this way....and it's always convenient.
    Good point!
  13. by   Mkue
    A voting holiday sounds ridiculous to me. It's pretty obvious billions of ppl found the time to vote during the last election judging by the record voter turnout.
  14. by   eltrip
    We have early voting in our state. It is wonderful! I can choose my date to vote based on my schedule. Who needs a voting holiday?

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