HONOLULU (KHON2) — With voting in Hawaii done mostly by mail since 2020, some people question why it’s still considered a state holiday. Should the state designate another day for public workers and students to get the time off?

Hawaii is one of 19 states in the country that has designated General Election Day as a state holiday. But, since all mail-in voting began, more than 90 percent of voters cast their ballots before election day.

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There’s been no need to use the schools as polling sites. So questions have been raised as to why it should remain as a state holiday.

“I think the idea has been kicked around a bit when we first passed the vote by mail bill. I can see why people would feel, well, it’s all mail in now. Why bother?” said Sen. Karl Rhoads.

He said instead of taking the holiday away, the time off could be given on another day.

“There’s certainly other holidays out there that are deserving of an actual day off as opposed to just official designations. So I think I and other legislators would be open to doing something like that,” said Rhoads.

The watchdog organization Common Cause said designating election day as a holiday still serves an important purpose, whether or not voters vote by mail.

“Having election day be a holiday really emphasizes how critically important participating in our democracy is. Democracy only fails when people choose to stand on the sidelines,” said Heather Ferguson, director of state operations at Common Cause.

She added that there’s actually been attempts by Congress to make election day a federal holiday.

“I’m sure that it’s something that is going to keep coming back up because I know that it’s something that many in our congressional delegation considered to be really important,” said Ferguson.

As for Hawaii, Rhoads said, there is still good reason to keep it as a state holiday.

“You do want election day to be a day that people look forward to, and it’s part of your Democratic duty. But for a lot of us anyway voting is just fun, something you like to get to do,” said Rhoads.

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Making election day a non-holiday in Hawaii would have to be changed by state lawmakers. Giving public workers a different day off would have to be negotiated with the unions through collective bargaining.