City Council Reconsiders Historic Election Holiday

City Council Reconsiders Historic Election Holiday
Youngest Councilmember Squares Off Against Mayor
khalid authored a Resolution to make Election Day a Holiday dedicated to Political Education. Nearly 3 of 4 residents did not vote in the city’s first election; most citing a lack of information on cityhood as the reason.
On July 25, 2017, the City of South Fulton became the first in the South to make Election Day a holiday. This historic vote by South Fulton’s City Council was overturned by Mayor William “Bill” Edwards, in a veto he issued the very next day.

During debate over the issue, Mayor Edwards worried the initiative was “a good idea, but just not the right time. A minority of other Councilmembers raised concerns over the city Calendar not being in sync with Fulton Schools, and data showing a trend towards Early Voting, with less people voting on Election Day.

khalid argued the data suggest that Early Voting simply spreads the same voters who would normally vote on Election Day over several more days, and may ultimately decrease the voting of others who get Early Voting days confused.

“The intent of the Holiday is to cultivate new voters by creating a Day of Political Education, similar to the MLK Day of Service, which encourages a ‘culture’ of voting.” khalid explained. “Many people don’t realize that now every year is an election year in South Fulton. We have state and congressional races every even year, and City Council races every odd year.”

Read Purpose of the Holiday
Language in the Resolution references a Puerto Rican model of the holiday, and calls for businesses & residents to take the day to learn more about the Electoral Process. Voter Participation rates in Puerto Rico are 50 percent higher in Presidential Election years than those in the United States.
Read Election Holiday Proposal
Register for Old National Electoral College Classes
To increase political awareness among Southside residents, khalid is partnering with organizations such as the SCLC, ACLU & Common Cause Georgia on a political education event titled the Old National Electoral College. A day of political education classes is being planned, including How Your County School Board Works and How To Get Streetlights & Speedbumps In Your Neighborhood. 

Read more about the Election Day Holiday & Register for Old National Electoral College classes here. A vote to override the Mayor’s Veto will be held Tuesday, August 8 at 7PM.

View Entire Aug 8 City Council Agenda & Documents
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