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Jake Schroeder: Rep. Todd R. Platts (R – PA 19th) says “Having not been around at that point to say what their exact thought process was…”

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Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Well, the elections are over, but we’re still trucking. Jake Schroeder just sent us this clip of Congressman Todd Platts “answering students questions at York Suburban High School in his 19th Congressional District on November 3rd. Students were free to ask any question ranging from border security to social security. I was able to ask him why we vote on Tuesdays.”

In what might be the longest discussion of participation and its woes we’ve gotten so far, Congressman Platts makes several interesting points. He comes down hard in favor of absentee ballots: he thinks that they represent an important way to make sure that people who are unable to make it to the polls are allowed to exercise the franchise. He disagrees with the idea that weekend voting would help, using an argument often used against “convenience voting,” which is that certain ways of making voting more convenient denigrate the institution (“it’s an excuse”). And, lastly, he points out that a lof these questions can be solved at the State level- something we’re aware of as well, and which has got us thinking.

What are the states doing? For a breakdown of no-excuse absentee balloting and in-person absentee balloting (early voting), click here. It seems that, at the State level, reform is alive and well: 35 states allow people, without any explanation, to vote in-person or by mail over a wide variety of dates ranging from 15-31 days prior to the election; 36 if you count the fact that the majority of Washington votes by mail. How has this affected turnout? What does this mean for the remaining fifteen? To what extent do people in these states know about their options? Stay tuned for more…

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Why Tuesday? is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections... More

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In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote... More

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