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Bill introduced to make Election Day state holiday

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Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, on Wednesday reintroduced a bill in the California State Legislature to make Election Day a state holiday.

The move was prompted by historically low voter turnout during the General Election in November 2014, according to Low’s office, and hopes to remove financial roadblocks for low-income voters. This is the second time the bill has been reintroduced.

Low said in a statement:

“When less than half of the electorate shows up to vote, our democracy suffers.”

The holiday would be scheduled on the first Tuesday in November of each statewide or national election year.

Low introduced the same bill in February 2017 and 2018, but it died both times. Assembly Bill 177 will now be heard in the Assembly Elections & Redistricting Committee over the next several months.

Coauthor Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said in a statement:

“We need to continue to make voting as easy as possible and this is one way to do it … I’m looking forward to working with Assemblymember Low on finding a cost-effective way to make the ballot box more accessible.”

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