TUCSON, Ariz. — A University of Arizona student created a petition to make Election Day a campus holiday. It is called UAVotes, created by senior Max Goodman.
Goodman is majoring in PPEL (philosophy, politics economics and law) and political science with a minor in economics.
“I got inspiration for this sort of, out of people, arguing that we should have election day be a national holiday, which I wholly agree with,” said Goodman.
Goodman said many Americans lose out on potential earnings, whether economical or educational, when it comes to take out time to vote.
“It's not really rational a lot of times, instrumentally to take hours out of your day to go vote. Because you think about it, well, my one vote amongst millions, probably isn't going to make that much of an impact. So why would I sacrifice my wages? Why would I sacrifice my lectures. And it creates this big collective action problem where only the most passionate people on either end of the spectrum are really mobilized to vote,” said Goodman.
He believes that’s not how a healthy democracy should work; everyone should have an equal opportunity to go out and vote on election day.
“I think it starts with the university kind of paving the way and giving people a completely the day off, no classes whatsoever, so that they're not forced to choose between going to class and going to vote. It's a popular idea. And in my mind, it should be like 4th of July. It should be a celebration of our country's accomplishment, our freedoms. And I think that resonates with a lot of people, regardless of where you are on the political ideology spectrum,” said goodman.
Since the Nov. 3 election is right around the corner, Goodman won’t be able to push for this change this year. However, he does hope to eventually help make the change and impact students for future elections.
“Ideally for the next election in 2022, and then in 2024, they will have a framework set up where no students are going to have to choose between going to class or voting,” said Goodman.
Aside from the concrete goal of creating a campus-wide holiday for Election Day, Goodman hopes this gets people motivated to vote and to think critically about the way our democracy functions.
“We should all exert that civic duty on Election Day. If you're not taking the time to vote and not taking the time to be informed and then vote, your voice is not being heard. And that's how we get this polarization that we have in politics right now, where there's no compromise because only the loudest voices on either end are being heard,” said Goodman.