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.