Friday, September 28, 2007

Actually, in our last contract, we traded the Election Day holiday for a free keg of beer at our union meetings

Today, Megan attempts to answer John Quiggan's question about why, exactly, we in the US vote on a Tuesday. Her two-pronged answer:

1. Religious reasons, since there are so many weekend sabbaths; and

2. Public employees get Election Day off, and are so powerful that they are able to maintain this crucial perk through sheer force of political will, or something.

Never mind that the first prong only answers why we don't vote on the weekend (a point made by one of Meg's readers). Do public employees really get Election Day off? My mother has been a public librarian since my early childhood, and she has never gotten Election Day as a paid holiday. My wife? Public schoolteacher for 10 years. No Election Days off. I myself have spent a decent chunk of time working on university campuses in various capacities. And I always work on Election Day.

But as it turns out, she's correct. Sort of. According to, Election Day is an official holiday . . . if you happen to live in Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas or West Virginia. There are 11 others that apparently give public employees the day off, but I have to say that I am very skeptical about the accuracy of that list. Why? Because one of the states on that list is Florida, where I have spent a large chunk of my life and where I have spent a few Election Days in the office while an employee of the state university system.

Happily, some of Megatron's commenters are calling her on her laziness. One Katharine Harass sums it up, as far as I'm concerned:

Conclusion: The Atlantic Monthly has reached a new low.

Katharine's words, not mine . . . well, this time, anyway.

1 comment:

M. Bouffant said...

Let's see, Jewish folks, Seventh Day Adventists...that's about it for weekend Sabbaths, and those both occur on Saturday, can't think of too many Xtians who could't vote on Sunday...again, what is Ms. McArdle talking about?