Ohio ditches Columbus Day to make Election Day a paid holiday

“Ultimately, we knew that Columbus Day was a day that all of our citizens couldn’t necessarily be proud of celebrating. One of the things we’re doing is to begin to celebrate and build on the strength that is our diversity,” Eric Wobser, Sandusky’s city manager, told The Washington Post, adding that the city has passed anti-discrimination legislation. “Columbus Day was not a way for us to show that we value our diversity.”

Sandusky’s population of almost 25,000 is nearly 70 percent white, 23 percent black and 7 percent Hispanic. The city is more Democratic than the rest of Erie County, which voted for President Trump in 2016. But it swung to blue last year and helped reelect Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).

The move means that Sandusky’s more than 200 government employees would receive paid time off every first Tuesday of November. Wobser said officials are hoping to convince local private companies to observe the holiday, as well. Nationwide, more than 300 companies pledged to give their employees paid time off on Election Day last year, despite the absence of federal regulation.