At today’s Leon County Commission meeting, elected officials voted to make Election Day a paid holiday for all county employees. The proposal is estimated to have a fiscal impact of $18,560 in holiday pay, which County staff reports can be paid for from existing personnel budgets.
At the April 13, 2021 meeting, the Board directed staff to provide an agenda item exploring the option to include Election Day as a Leon County Government employee paid holiday.
Election Day is observed on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years.
Leon County staff notes that many states have declared Election Day a legal holiday, including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Also, other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment to vote in elections without loss of pay.
According to the agenda item, the State of Florida has neither declared Election Day a legal holiday nor adopted a law requiring that employers provide paid time off for voting. However, State workers are provided up to one hour of administrative leave for primary, general, or special elections held in their place of residence.
The change will be effective October 1, 2021. However, the first Election Day would not occur until November 8, 2022.
It was also noted that annual holiday schedules for the offices of the Clerk of Courts, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector would not be impacted by this change as each constitutional officer is responsible for establishing the holidays for their respective offices.
The City of Tallahassee recently voted to establish Election Day as a paid holiday.