Why vote on Tuesdays? No good reason.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
Happy Iowa Caucus day! It seems like ages ago we set out to get all of the 2012 presidential candidates on the record about how they’d protect your right to vote. Tonight we’ll find out who will win the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus. But why vote today, a Tuesday? That’s exactly the question I answer in an op-ed on CNN.com:
The short answer: We vote on Tuesday for absolutely no good reason. This is true especially when you consider the United States, arguably the world’s most famous democracy, has ranked near the bottom of all nations in voter participation for more than half a century. And that’s not because, as Mitt Romney suggested to me last month, we need great candidates to increase voter turnout. Heard of JFK? Reagan?
The little-bit-longer answer: We vote on Tuesday because of a law passed in 1845 meant to make voting convenient for Americans traveling by horse and buggy. Seriously. When Congress set out to pick a day for Americans to vote, ultimately settling on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, voting could take two days: a day to get to the county seat to vote and a day to get back for market day on Wednesday. They couldn’t travel on the Christian sabbath, so by process of elimination, Tuesday, the first convenient day of the week, was chosen. It was as simple as that.
With your help, we can and will continue our work to protect your right to vote.