‘No Brainer Award’ For Weekend Voting Act
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Ezra Klein, the blogger and columnist for the Washington Post, has bestowed upon the Weekend Voting Act, the bill in Congress which would move Election Day to Saturday and Sunday from “the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,” his first-ever “No Brainer Award.” We are thrilled the act, which we’ve covered here extensively, got the nod from Ezra. Here’s what he had to say:
This column is usually about the Big Issues. Health-care reform. The deficit. The debt ceiling. The grand, Ragnarok-level clashes (yes I just saw ‘Thor’) between the two parties.
But not today. Today, I want to introduce the No-Brainer Awards: a roll call honoring some of the best legislative ideas you won’t see leading the evening news. These thoughtful bills and responsible reforms aren’t polarizing or sweeping, which you’d think would make it easier for them to pass. But for many of them, the absence of partisan passion means they never make it to the front of the congressional agenda. So let’s give them a push.
The Weekend Voting Act: Ever wondered why Election Day always falls on a Tuesday? It dates to 1845, when Congress was trying to find a convenient day for a largely agrarian society to vote. It took many voters a day or so to travel into town, and a day to travel back out, and it was important for everyone to be home on Sunday, as that was the Lord’s day. So Tuesday seemed like a good compromise. And maybe, in 1845, it was. But in 2011? It looks less like a compromise and more like a conspiracy.
“They don’t want you to vote,” Chris Rock said. “If they did, we wouldn’t vote on a Tuesday.”
Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Herb Kohl have a bill that would move Election Day to the first full weekend in November — two days when most Americans don’t have to work, drop their kids off at school or rush home to prepare dinner. A compromise, in other words, that fits the economy in 2011 rather than the economy in 1845.
Photo of the U.S. Capitol katieharbath on Flickr.