Welcome to Get Out the Why!
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
Welcome, and thanks for checking out Get Out the Why. We’re hoping and betting that this post will be buried beneath video submissions in the coming weeks, but for now it’s a nice chance to tell you a little bit about why we’re doing this.
We’re concerned about voter turnout in America. Lots of people are- if you’re reading this, you may well be. And we appreciate that it’s a very complex debate. But we think one area that’s often overlooked is simple and structural: why do we hold Election Day, the most widely publicized and best known opportunity to exercise the franchise, on a single day in the middle of the work/school week?
When Why Tuesday? got started, about a year ago, we started asking everyone this question- do you know why we vote on Tuesdays? And no one did. Really, no one; we asked people whose professional lives depend on Tuesday elections- politicians, commentators, and journalists- and no one knew. The historical reason is interesting (you can read about it at www.whytuesday.org), but it also relates to a serious question in the present: Tuesday voting was selected for the way American voters lived 160 years ago; shouldn’t we at least consider whether it’s time to update our system for how we live in the 21st century?
GOTW is a fun way to get everyone involved in this debate. We’re not advocating a particular solution, and we welcome a discussion on this blog of anything geared to helping more Americans vote. We’re also not out to “get” any politicians here- our goal is to get the question out there, putting it in people’s minds in an engaging way. We’re hoping that GOTW will encourage many Americans- both elected officials and private citizens- to consider the merits and drawbacks of Tuesday voting, and how reform in this and other areas might help all Americans exercise our most fundamental right and responsibility.