Congress may have given up on making Election Day a national holiday, but state lawmakers may have just begun their fight.
The catch-all reform bill passed earlier this year by the House of Representatives originally included language to make Election Day a national holiday. But even before the bill died on the steps of the Senate, House members stripped out that language.
But advocates for the cause can look to the statehouses, which are considering related legislation in record numbers.
In 2019, lawmakers in 23 states filed 47 bills related to Election Day holidays, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures and additional reporting.
While Democrats are emphasizing their big victories in neighboring Southern states as warning signs for President Trump, advocates for fixing democratic systems are hailing those same elections Tuesday as major opportunities for their cause.
The most significant triumph came in Virginia, where Democrats reclaimed control of the General Assembly and, along with Gov. Ralph Northam, won unified control of state government for the first time in a quarter-century. That will open the door in January for a long roster of democracy reform proposals that have been languishing in Richmond — from tightening the state's campaign finance rules to stopping the partisan gerrymandering of its electoral maps.
The election of Democrat Andy Beshear as governor of Kentucky, meanwhile, allows him to make good on a promise to end that state's status as one of the harshest places to be a felon who wants to be a voting member of society after serving time. (That's if his win stands up — the incumbent, Republican Matt Bevin, has not conceded.)
Want to cast your ballot quickly this Election Day? It will be reliably faster if you live in a predominantly white, affluent neighborhood.
That is the central finding of a nationwide study, which analyzed data provided by poll workers for last year's midterms to assess the demographic factors that most influenced wait times.
Overall, the average voter spent almost 9 minutes at the polls before casting a ballot on Election Day 2018, according to the report, issued Monday by MIT and the Bipartisan Policy Center, a prominent Washington think tank. But three demographic factors strongly influenced wait times: race, income and homeownership.