More Voter Turnout, Not Less
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Our co-founder Norm Ornstein and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter penned an op-ed in USA Today about Weekend Voting.
— Louise Slaughter (@louiseslaughter) August 7, 2017
“Our right to vote is under siege,” they wrote. “Fight back by ending the Tuesday tradition. We’re no longer a nation of farmers worried about Market Day.”
The they go on to say:
President Trump’s faux commission on voter integrity is all about voter suppression. It is another sign of a disturbing trend in our broken politics and a move to restrict, rather than encourage, the most fundamental pillar on which our democracy has been constructed: the right to vote. At a time when our past strides to increase access to the ballot box are under siege, we must do more to encourage participation in our elections. Eliminating the obstacles Americans face when trying to cast their ballots begins with asking why we vote on Tuesday.
Voting on the first Tuesday after the first Monday is not enshrined in our Constitution. It is an arcane tradition enacted as a law in 1845 to help people in an agrarian society make it to the polls without interfering with Market Day on Wednesday. The challenges faced by Americans in 1845 are not the same as those we face today, and our laws should reflect this.