Election Day would be a holiday for Atlanta city employees under legislation filed Feb. 20 by three councilmembers.

The intent is to make voting easier and to have other jurisdictions and private employers offer the day as a holiday as well.

“Atlanta has some of the worst wait times in the state as well as polls that close early relative to the national average,” said one of the sponsors, District 6 Councilmember Jennifer Ide, who represents part of Buckhead, in a press release. “This bill would ease some pressure on employees struggling to cast their vote amidst these and other obstacles.”

The other sponsors are District 3 Councilmember Amir Farokhi and at-large Councilmember Matt Westmoreland.

The council press release announcing the filing cites last year’s election for governor, “in which the voting rights of many Georgians came under fire.” That close race was won by Republican Brian Kemp, while Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams claimed voter “suppression” cost her the election.

In the press release, Farokhi said, “Through this bill, we can make a difference for Atlanta workers. We can make a statement that our city doesn’t represent the same values as our state when it comes to voter discrimination.”

According to the City Council, the legislation is scheduled for a Feb. 27 hearing before the Finance/Executive Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Howard Shook of Buckhead’s District 7.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.