The Italian explorer and colonist Christopher Columbus loses popularity in America. Sandusky, Ohio, is the newest city to announce that Columbus Day will no longer be a holiday, according to The Hill. Instead, urban workers in the city can start election day in November.
The city's decision unifies two of the most important ongoing debates on national holidays: Many people have made Election Day a federal holiday to ensure this All Americans have a chance to vote and vote. At the same time, many cities no longer celebrate Columbus Day, citing Columbus' mistreatment of indigenous peoples.
"We trade [the holidays] to prioritize Election Day as a day off so our staff can vote," says city manager Eric Wobser, telling the Sandusky Register . "It's also because Columbus Day is controversial and many cities have eliminated it as a holiday."
Instead of the Columbus Day, which takes place on the second Monday in October, some cities have instead opted for alternative ceremonies. Seattle recognizes the week of indigenous peoples; Los Angeles has a life before the Columbus Festival; and Crazy Horse, South Dakota, hosts a Native American day.
On election day, some politicians and civil rights groups say the day should become a federal holiday to tackle America's low turnout. The US would not be the first country to do so. Inhabitants of France, Mexico, Israel and South Korea already have the day off, and dozens of other countries held their elections over the weekend.
According to USA Today voter turnout reached its peak in the 1
However, as Slate points out, voter turnout is a bit complicated and it is difficult to predict whether a national holiday would actually help bring people to polling stations.
[h/t The Hill]