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Following Sanders' Lead, Obama Endorses National Voting Holiday


#1

Following Sanders' Lead, Obama Endorses National Voting Holiday

Jon Queally, staff writer

Prompted by a student journalist about the consistent low turnout in U.S. elections, President Obama this week endorsed the idea of a national voting holiday, an idea most prominently put forth at the federal level by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.


#3

Ya, everyone wants to jump on Bernie's band wagon but they don't want to give him credit for being the one to bring all this stuff out into the light. This isn't Obama saying it, it's Obama parroting Bernie to make himself and Hillary look more progressive. They make me sick.


#4

Isn't worrying about "getting credit" a bit puerile? What matters is that progressive ideas formerly thought of as impractical become mainstream and common-sense. I don't care who or how it happens.

"The best leaders value their words, and use them sparingly.
When they have accomplished their task,
the people say, “Amazing!
We did it, all by ourselves!”"

-- Tao Te Ching #16


#5

Yes real leadership is talking out, taking a stance when it can still effect the issue, not waiting until consensus has been reached then jumping on the stage for credit. (N.Y. $15 wage)


#6

I can just hear the US Chamber of Commerce whining about all the "lost productivity" and the "burden of government mandates" imposed on our two-fisted mavens of commerce. So my idea is lets trade one of our existing holidays for a national election holiday. My leading nominees would be:
Presidents Day (which is an amalgamation of Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays)
Or Veterans Day (nothing more than a recruiting opportunity for the military and it comes closer to normal election day than any other current holiday)
If course it would be nice to get an additional holiday with the ones we already have, but in the interest of selling the idea to as wide an audience as possible, that's my idea.


#8

Why now, Obama will have had eight years to work for this. I don't recall Obama mentioning this when it might have made a diffrence, it's not as though this issue hasn't been talked about for decades and decades. I suppose better late than never.


#9

No, I think we should take that genocidal murdering Chris Columbus' holiday, the second Monday in October, and make that entire weekend a national election holiday. It would serve justice for all of Columbus' victims, as well as moving election day up to a better weather month, also allowing for mandatory runoff elections for any race not giving a majority of votes to any candidate. There should be no plurality winning elected officials in this country. This should also do away with the excuses for not supporting third-party candidates, since they then could reach a runoff election and start winning offices.


#10

It somewhat does, tbh.

Because where Obama has more centrist and cautious about his stances on progressive values (and usually there's not many he takes a hard stance on), Bernie has been a straight-shooter in leading his.

It's 'nice' that Obama comes out and endorses this Holiday but he's doing it in a similar way that Hillary has done. Let's call it what it is: a half-assed endorsement.


#11

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#12

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#13

Ultimately, it is up to us to make progressive change. No "leader" even the great and wonderful Bernie, is going to do it for us.


#18

In addition to a national holiday for voting, the USA should have paper ballots in all elections, which will provide a paper trail. Voting machines can be manipulated too easily. Bernie Sanders has been calling for paper ballots for over a decade, but this topic generates little publicity in the mainstream media.


#20

Yes, as other nations apparently do this - a national holiday to allow workers (oh, my God) to make it to the polls without taking a day off or causing difficulty (as I have personally experienced) in getting to the polls before my morning commute to work or after workday - the tight hours obviously contributing to low voter turnout. Coupled with voter-id and other shenanigans, not a very "democratic" system.


#21

The Holiday should be in the middle of the week so that people don't leave town.


#22

The more people who vote, the less chance Clinton has of being elected. If she gets the nomination she'll drop this idea in an unmarked grave and bury it like she's already dropping every other progressive idea she's adopted from Sanders.

Clinton's droppings may be delayed; she unofficially suspended her primary campaign and pivoted to the right, thinking she had won the nomination, and then realized that was a mistake. So she may wait as long as the convention to abandon the left and move back to her real, militaristic, center-right oligarchic positions. Her pivot to the right will leave the left in the usual Evil of 2 Lessers dilemma.

Whatever we do we have to break the Democrats of this habit and take away their ability to cynically use us. Write in Bernie, vote for Jill Stein, stay home (not the best option--it abandons all the worthy and viable Green and other down-ticket candidates)... If Bernie loses the nomination, we need to make sure Clinton doesn't win the general election. This is a horrible thing to have to do--let an insane dictator win--but opposition to Trump will rally the left like Bush did and Obama dissipated, and climate changes will make it increasingly clear the right wing is crazy on this, and we can hope, other issues.

Trump will never be able to maintain his climate denial for 4 years and this issue alone may end up losing Congress to the Dems in the midterms--if the Dems are sufficiently chastised by the left losing them the White House. The party should either move to the left or refuse to more blatantly. It would probably help if Sanders runs as Stein's VP (since he apparently can't run as pres. in many states in the general election.)

Alternately, I wonder how many states would be covered by a combination of Sanders running for pres. with the Greens or as an independent in the states where he can, and being a write-in in other states. Obviously, the best outcome is for Sanders to win the Dem. nomination, but that's looking very unlikely and the only thing that will accomplish that is a massive and sudden movement in the states that still have primaries and those that already have voted but have since moved to Sanders.


#24

I always vote with a paper ballot. I feel voting needs to be mandatory... It is part of our citizenship.


#25

The national voting holiday bill was introduced by Conyers of Michigan in the House in 2005, and in the senate by Stabenow and Levin of Michigan and Landrieu of Louisiana. Sanders was nowhere in sight and the bill died. He didn't back a similar bill until late 2014, when no support in the House was possible. Yeah, he's the leader.


#26

Read a little history on the voting holiday proposal. Sanders has not been a leader on it.


#27

A lot of working stiffs, after working a 8,10 12, hr shift are to tired to go to the polls and wait in an hour long line to vote, so why not online voting? It makes too much sense.


#29

Right on, give Obama something credible, he sure needs something good for his otherwise terribly bleak legacy