Election Day 2019: Is It a National Holiday? Are Schools, Post Offices Open? What You Need to Know

People across the country Tuesday will head to polling places to cast votes for who they want to represent them as legislators. Ahead of Election Day, there was a flurry of online searches for whether the day was a national holiday and whether schools and the post office would be open.

While Democratic legislators have called for Election Day to be declared a national holiday, their efforts so far have fallen flat. So some students will be in class and government employees will be in their offices.

The idea of making Election Day a national holiday isn't so far-fetched. At least two-thirds of Americans support making the day a national holiday, according to Pew Research. In January, Democrats in the House of Representatives included the change in the first bill they introduced. The bill passed the House and was read in the Senate in March, but has had little movement since, according to congressional records.

In 2014 and 2018, Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed bills to make Election Day a federal holiday, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker promised to make the change if they were elected president.

election day 2019 schools post office open
A woman votes from a booth as her child plays with a cellphone below inside the gymnasium at the Barack Obama Prep Academy on November 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, residents will cast their ballots in the general election, which is not a national holiday. Frederic J. BROWN/AFP/Getty

As of Tuesday, Election Day remained off the list of national holidays, meaning the United States Postal Service, which is closed on federal holidays, would operate as it would any other regular day.

Most public schools will be open, although many schools across the country serve as polling locations for voters. Many choose to close to protect students' safety because of the large number of strangers who enter the building. All public schools in New York City and Philadelphia, for example, were closed for students on Tuesday. Parents can contact their school or district to learn more.

Because Election Day is not a national holiday, there are no federal laws requiring state and federal workers to have time off to vote. However, some states, including New York, have measures in place to ensure people can vote without taking a hit in their pay.

In New York, registered voters can be out of work for up to three hours without a loss of pay, according to Syracuse.com. Employers can't deny their works time off as long as employees tell their boss at least two days before the election that they plan to come in late or leave early to vote.