The only presidential election I didn’t vote in was in 1996. The poll lines stretched around the block, and I was stressed about being late for work. I carry the guilt of not voting in that election to this day. My father, a Hungarian refugee, had risked his life to ensure my existential right to vote. To use my voice to make a choice.
I’m fortunate now to live in one of the five universal vote-by-mail states (Colorado), where I can complete my ballot in the comfort of my home. This allows me to research every issue thoroughly (which is particularly important in Colorado due to the ease of getting measures on the ballot), discuss issues with my husband (who has differing political views), and then drop off my ballot in a secure ballot box (I dropped off this year’s ballot on October 17).
Absent a federal measure for universal vote-by-mail across the U.S., a paid national holiday on Election Day is the next best step. Why? Because ensuring employees can exercise their right to self-government, as enshrined in our Constitution, isn’t just good for our democracy—it’s good for business.