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Majority says Election Day should be a federal holiday, poll finds

A majority of respondents in a new American Barometer survey say Election Day should be a federal holiday for which everyone gets a day off from work.

The poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found 54 percent of voters said Election Day should be a federal holiday, while 46 percent said it should not. 

Sixty-three percent of Democrats said the day should be a federal holiday, while 48 percent of Republicans agreed.  

Independents were evenly split on the matter, with 50 percent favoring a holiday, and 50 percent against the idea. 

Proponents of making Election Day a holiday say it would provide voters with more access to the polls by giving them more time to vote. 

Those against the idea argue that shutting down businesses could have a negative impact on their revenue, and say that voters who work at hospitals and facilities that are open every day would not benefit. 

"I don't know that it would ever happen, but I think it does raise an interesting question because turnout in the U.S. is much, much lower than other countries worldwide," Mallory Newall, research director at Ipsos Public Affairs, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

The poll comes as Americans across the country head to the polls in the midterm elections. 

Early voting has already surged ahead of the contests, with at least 31 million people casting ballots as of Monday, according to CNN. 

The American Barometer was conducted on November 2-3 among 1,000 registered voters. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points. 

— Julia Manchester