A bill in favor of making election day a national holiday is now being represented by Marshall’s student body on behalf of the Student Government Association.
The Freedom to Vote Act, introduced by a variety of democratic congressional senators on Sept. 14, is a bill that would tackle several large concerns regarding the United State’s voting system.
These concerns include voter suppression, third-party corporate and financial influencing, representation, and more.
The act would expand the standard required for voting in the US by nationally supporting early and mail-in voting along with encouraging everybody to vote by establishing Election Day as a national holiday.
The bill would also increase the transparency of officials running in elections, by requiring campaigns to disclose the sources of funds and donations if they exceed $10,000.
Isabella Robinson, an SGA senator, introduced the bill to the committee in October.
The bill passed through the SGA last week in a unanimous vote and was forwarded to West Virginia’s senators: Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.
“People from all across the political spectrum support the freedom to vote act,” Robinson said. “It is just the first to us really cleaning up Washington and moving things in the direction of young people.”
During this semester’s 11th SGA senate session, other SGA senators commented on the significance the bill and why they encourage West Virginia’s senators to carefully consider this legislation.
“Understand that we are voting now, and we are your voting base,” Jessica Spoor, an SGA senator who cosponsored the bill said. “I think everyone should have the right to vote and a right is not a privilege; therefore, it should be easy.”
“Making election day a federal holiday would allow people to have the time off that they need,” Jasper Ball, a fellow SGA senator said, regarding the bill’s proposed federal holiday policy.
“I hope that our senators will take student feedback, and feedback from young people seriously,” Alyssa Malbee another SGA senator said.
The bill’s passing through the SGA allows West Virginia’s senators to represent Marshall as the state’s second largest institution with supporting the bill.