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Newsweek: First Tuesday of Huh?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007


Newsweek Contributing Editor Anna Quindlen presents a question in this week’s Newsweek that we live and breathe around here: what’s the deal with our voting system? The article’s tag line: “Every four years Americans select a president. Given our crazy system, it’s a miracle that we manage to seal the deal.”

The article focuses on, as we have around here, how uncoordinated and unreliable our voting system is: early voting in only some states, the old-school Electoral College system, the increasingly long primary schedule, troubles with the Iowa caucus… and of course, voting for president on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

In the article Quindlen notes that Texas and Georgia have early voting, but in fact altogether 31 states offer some form of no-excuse in person or absentee early voting. Yet given all of the other problems she raises, America’s voting system is indeed inefficient at best. Despite spending billions of dollars – that is billions more than any other country – America’s turnout still ranks behind most countries in the world (139th of 172). What’s clear is that there is no silver election reform bullet and we need to, as Quindlen does, talk about common sense solutions to what she calls our “Frankenstein monster” system.

If the state of our voting system frustrates you – the deafening silence coming from our presidential candidates on the issue of our broken voting system might push you over the edge.

That’s why we issued the Why Tuesday? Candidate Challenge and asked all of the presidential candidates to discuss if they believe our voting system is broken, what they think we should do about it, and whether or not the Tuesday after the first Monday in November is an appropriate day for Americans to be casting a ballot given our modern lives.

In Iowa, we showed up in a horse-drawn carriage at the Des Moines Register presidential debates to point out how antiquated our voting laws truly are.

If you’re new to Why Tuesday? stick around! You can subscribe to our videos on YouTube, become a Why Tuesday? correspondent, or pick one of many ways you can support our mission of making election reform an issue our politicians cannot avoid.

Quindlen headshot via Newsweek.

2 Responses to “Newsweek: First Tuesday of Huh?”

  1. Jeffrey Henderson Says:

    Please make sure you ask Ron Paul, I’m sure he’ll have the most insightful comments out of all the candidates.

  2. Jacob Soboroff Says:

    @ Jeffrey: We already have. Take a look.

About Us

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

The Answer

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

Recent Comments

Patrick, France is a post-Christian secular country. Relatively few of them attend church, and voting on Sunday does not interfere with their religious practices, because most of the population is not religious...

Posted by John on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

In France they last voted on a Sunday. France is despite the Bourbon legacy a largely Catholic country, yet they vote on Sunday...

Posted by Patrick on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

I think weekend voting would make the most sense, as people wouldn't have tu run home after work or wake up early to hit the polling stations beforehand.

Posted by Zander on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?