HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) U-S Representative Brendan Boyle and his brother State Rep. Kevin Boyle are introducing bills on both the state and national level to move election day from a Tuesday to the weekend.
Their hope is to increase voter turnout.
Eyewitness News State Capitol Reporter Matt Heckel explains their thinking.
On Monday U-S and State Representatives, Brendan and Kevin Boyle announced companion legislation they hope will make voting easier.
“That would establish Saturdays and Sundays in November for general elections as voting days.” Said Rep. Kevin Boyle (D) Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.
Voters could vote either day in the first weekend of November. Just over 50 percent of the voting age population cast ballots in the US in 2016. Many who didn’t said they didn’t have time with work, school, or family requirements.
“So, we end up losing possible voters because of the fact that we hold election days on Tuesdays.” Noted Rep Brendan Boyle, (D) Pennsylvania
Election Day has been on Tuesday since 1845… A day that helped meet the work and religious demands of the time. Representative Brendan Boyle, though, says times have changed.
“The idea that here in the year 2018, we still vote based on a law that was passed in 1845… Is just nuts.”
“I’m not convinced that moving one day of voting to another workday of voting is going to make a significant impact,” said Suzanne Almeida
Almeida is the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters in Pennsylvania. She says there are other election reforms like early voting or no excuse absentee voting that could do a better job of increasing turnout. But… Ultimately… She’s hopeful these bills can be the first step toward improvement.
“Anything that’s going to make it easier for people to vote, to make sure eligible voters can actually turn out and cast a ballot, is certainly well appreciated.”