Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the incoming U.S. representative from New York City, has an idea that could make voting easier: Take Columbus Day off the federal holiday list and replace it with Election Day.
In a tweet Saturday, the progressive Democrat wondered why Columbus Day is a federal holiday while Election Day, when we engage in perhaps our most important civic duty, is not.
Columbus Day, after all, celebrates a man who never actually set foot in what is now the United States and who certainly did not “discover” America.
Daily Mail editor David Martosko tried to make a joke about Ocasio-Cortez “angling for more vacation days” before even beginning her new job.
“While I would disagree with your complaint that Americans get too much vacation time …,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, “I am willing to compromise by eliminating Columbus Day to give Election Day off.”
“See?” the soon-to-be congresswoman added. “I can be pliant.”
Ocasio-Cortez also noted that people in the U.S. work some of the longest hours among developed nations and have no federally required paid leave.
Martosko later tweeted, “One of the requirements of public service should be a sense of humor.”
In the past, legislators like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have introduced bills that would make Election Day a national holiday. But with Republicans in control of the Senate and White House ― and not eager to make it easier to vote these days ― this might be a long shot.