It's finally Election Day, and people across the country are voting and spreading the word in person and online about their favorite candidate before the polls close tonight. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to share a photo from his polling place (but not of his ballot, thankyouverymuch). He also retweeted an article from The Onion, which might seem strange at first glance, but when you take a second look, you realize that Bernie Sanders' The Onion retweet actually makes a super important point about voting rights in America.
The Onion tweet says: "Bernie Sanders Fills In For Factory Worker Unable To Take Time Off To Vote." It's obviously a joke, but Bernie Sanders knows there's a harsh truth behind the humorous piece.
Sanders, who formerly campaigned against Hillary Clinton, has become one of her strongest and most vocal surrogates in recent months. He's been urging voters across the country — including his former supporters — to show up on Nov. 8 to cast their ballot for the nation's first female president. But he knows that job would be simpler if people had an easier time getting to the polls. In fact, Bernie Sanders (and many others) believe that making Election Day a national holiday would increase voter turnout.
"I can't fill in for every worker today," Bernie Sanders wrote alongside the retweet. "Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the opportunity to vote."
On Sen. Sanders official website, a petition called "Make Election Day a National Holiday" is posted. Sanders notes that in 2014, voter turnout was just 36.6 percent. "In America, we should be celebrating our democracy and doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process," the website reads. "Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote."
Sen. Sanders also asks for support for the "Democracy Day" bill, which was originally introduced by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan in 2005 and reintroduced by Sen. Sanders in 2014 but not enacted.
The United States has among the lowest voter turnout rates among developed countries, which definitely makes a strong argument in favor of some sort of voter reform. Tell us: do you think Election Day should be a national holiday?