Bloomberg: Thumbs Up To San Fran Weekend Voting
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today added another election reform endorsement to his growing list. The mayor is supporting the San Fransisco effort to implement weekend voting inspired by Why Tuesday? and our work around the country. Below is the full press release we sent out with details about Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement.
NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG ENDORSES SAN FRANSISCO “SATURDAY VOTING ACT”
Endorsement Follows Bloomberg’s Earlier Support Of National “Weekend Voting Act”
“Proposition I” Is On The November 2nd Ballot
SAN FRANCISCO – New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is lending his name to an effort to increase voter turnout by making it easier for voters to get to the polls. Mayor Bloomberg today endorsed San Francisco’s Proposition I, known as the “Saturday Voting Act.” If Proposition I passes on November 2nd, it would require San Francisco to open all polling places on the Saturday before the November 2011 election, in addition to the traditional Tuesday Election Day. The Saturday Election Day would be funded by private donations, all of which would be made public on the Department of Elections website. San Francisco’s “Saturday Voting Act” was inspired by the work nationally of WhyTuesday.org a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) committed to increasing American voter turnout.
Mayor Bloomberg has long been a supporter of national election reforms. In September 2009, Mayor Bloomberg announced his “Easy to Vote, Easy to Run” national election reform plan. In it the Mayor called on Congress to pass the Weekend Voting Act, sponsored by Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and Congressman Steve Israel of Long Island, which seeks to shift national Election Day from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday. In polls and in United States Census data, the majority of voters who failed to vote blamed the inconvenience of Election Day.
“Voters in San Francisco have a great opportunity this Election Day to be national leaders on an issue that a growing number of Democrats, Republicans, and independents are all supporting: weekend voting,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “By passing the Saturday Voting Act, San Francisco voters will become the first major city in the country to allow voters to cast their ballots in municipal elections on the weekend. I support bringing weekend voting to New York City, and I look forward to working with local civic and community leaders to develop our own weekend voting proposal. Voter participation is crucial to a healthy democracy. By giving busy voters more opportunities to cast their ballots, we can help increase participation. And San Francisco voters would still have the option of voting on the traditional Tuesday Election Day. Weekend voting is an idea whose time has come – and San Francisco can help lead the way.”
“If we really want to increase access to the democratic process, especially for working families and single parents, we should do what the rest of the world does and vote on the weekend,” said Alex Tourk, founder of WhyTuesdaySF.org. “I just think it’s the right thing to do, and it’s an honor that leaders like Mayor Bloomberg are joining this effort and drawing attention to the fact that holding elections mid-week, when the working class has the most obligations, is a good indication that our electoral system is antiquated.”
“We are thrilled Mayor Bloomberg continues to act as a megaphone for increasing America’s dismally low voter participation,” said Jacob Soboroff, executive director of WhyTuesday.org. “The Mayor’s commitment to making election reform an issue our national and local leaders cannot afford to avoid is a quality too few of our elected representatives share today.”
ABOUT WHY TUESDAY?
Why Tuesday? is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization founded in 2005 to raise awareness about the state of America’s voting system and to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections. Using Web 2.0 technology, Why Tuesday? provides a platform for national dialogue about the current voting system, problems with our current voting system, and solutions that can directly improve the voting process, increase registration and drive turnout. The Why Tuesday? documentary video blog has been seen millions of times across multiple online and traditional media platforms, including national news outlets. Why Tuesday? was the recipient of the Film Your Issue Award as well as being the only non-mainstream news outlet nominated for the 2008 Webby Award for Best Political Blog.
Photo of Mayor Bloomberg voting via LIFE.