Ohio city to stop observing Columbus Day, make Election Day holiday instead

Officials in the city of Sandusky, Ohio, have decided that the city will no longer observe Columbus Day as a holiday, switching it for Election Day.

City commissioners made the change at a recent meeting, according to the Sandusky Register.

The new rule, which takes effect this year, will give workers in all municipal offices the day off on Election Day, typically the first Tuesday in November.

“What better way to celebrate the value of our employees and citizens than by removing barriers for them to participate in the greatest of American innovations, our democracy,” the city government wrote on Facebook.

City Manager Eric Wobser told the Sandusky Register that the swap is to encourage city employees to vote, as well as in response to the controversies surrounding Columbus Day.

A number of cities have stopped observing Columbus Day or begun marking “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” instead, citing Christopher Columbus and other European explorers’ treatment of Native Americans.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has advocated for making the change nationally. And a November survey from Hill.TV and HarrisX polling company found that a majority of respondents favor making Election Day a federal holiday.