Why Tuesday?

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Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

The answer may surprise you.

In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote. We were an agrarian society. We traveled by horse and buggy. Farmers needed a day to get to the county seat, a day to vote, and a day to get back, without interfering with the three days of worship. So that left Tuesday and Wednesday, but Wednesday was market day. So, Tuesday it was. In 1875 Congress extended the Tuesday date for national House elections and in 1914 for federal Senate elections.

Today, we are an urban society, and we all know how hard it is to commute to our jobs, take care of the children, and get our work done, let alone stand on lines to vote. Indeed, Census data over the last decade clearly indicates that the inconvenience of voting is the primary reason Americans are not participating in our elections.

If we can move Columbus Day, Presidents’ Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Holiday for the convenience of shoppers, why not make Election Day more convenient for the sake of voters? First and foremost, it is time to end the deafening silence of good people on this vitally important issue. So we ask: Why Tuesday?

115 Responses to “Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?”

  1. Mitch Etter Says:

    As a former elections administrator, I agree that there may “Updates” that needed to be done to our electoral process. Keep up the good work.

  2. John Says:

    Absentee voter. Vote any time you want!

  3. Fred Smart Says:

    We The People need to return to voting and counting using paper ballots in the sunshine – ie. where the ballots never EVER leave the sight We The People. 96-98% of our votes are counted in darkness today using computers and electronic machines that – experts have proven – can be programmed and hacked to achieve a desired result.

    I believe We The People should vote on Saturday! In the sunshine! Bring ALL the family and kids and make it into a National celebration of civic activism, transparancy, accountabilty and responsibility!!

    Music, dance, bands, songs, picnics, parades, convocations, crusades, fireworks, the works!!

    We The People need to EXIT these Wizard of Oz-like Castles and DEMAND that we all meet in the sunshine where there’s lots of music, song, laughter, food, families, children, etc.

    Peace and God Bless,

    Fred Smart
    The Freedom Fellowship

  4. mike Says:

    Do you really want everyone to vote? Most Americans are interested in who Brad Pitt or Paris Hilton is doing it with than have to keep up with current events. I was born and lived in a third world country until I was about 23. I cannot begin to tell you what I went through to vote. Even then I’m not sure if my vote really counted. Bottom line most people are not informed therefore I don’t believe they should vote.

  5. Renee Says:

    Why are we first concerned with the day we vote. I believe most Americans don’t vote because of the electorial voting system. The real question and concern in my mine is does my vote count? From what we have seen recently, individual votes don’t count. My father always said to get out and vote because you might cast the deciding vote. Right now that is not true.

    What is it called when government is run by the people? Democracy

    With the technology that is in place today what is the purpose of the electorial vote anyway. We are running our country on systems that were designed around the 1700 era. Things have to change with time. Can you imagine running a business like they did during that era?

    If you want some answers about electorial votes go to this website.

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/

    But way to go WhyTuesday!

  6. Christine Says:

    I love your perspective and mission. Please keep up the excellent work.I learned a lot from your site and videos.

  7. joe ferraro Says:

    election reform is long overdue, however, you may want to look at the ratio of congresspeople to citizens.

    750,000:1 is why people feel they don’t have a voice.

    every 10 years a zero-sum game is played by shifting congresspeople from one part of the country to another.

    here in PA we gained close to a million people, but lost 2 congresspeople.

    the constitutional realignment after the census should include adding seats, as it did in the 19th century.

    The last seats were added in 1911, when there were a little over 110 million people.

    with 300 million people we cannot be served properly.

  8. Richard King Says:

    Just watched your headline video… Anderson says that there aren’t enough election reform questions being asked to get those question addressed by the candidates…

    Problem::> Solution… ?

    What if you edit that clip, (maybe shorter?) adding explicit directions at the end of your video asking the viewer to request the candidates address election reform issues (verified voting)…. The link could then be sent around the country possibly influencing the agenda.

  9. Janean Says:

    this is a reply to Mike (comment #4) who asked, “Do you really want everyone to vote? Most Americans are interested in who Brad Pitt or Paris Hilton is doing it with than have to keep up with current events.”

    I do not think most Americans are really interested in Brad and Paris, I think the media is feeding us stories about Brad and Paris to keep us distracted from asking real questions… I know, conspiracy theory much?

    Seriously though, I did not vote this year because it was inconvenient. I went to Yoga instead. I would more likely vote on a Saturday.

  10. Brian Says:

    I think that we should vote on Veterans Day. What better way to honor our democracy, and the sacrifices made by our soldiers, than to vote?

    For the elections that happen on other times of year (primaries, etc) they should be held on Saturday and/or by mail.

  11. Morgan Sully Says:

    I think voting by mail would be great. I also think voting is imperative. I hate big media. It keeps us distracted from our dreams. People without dreams are apt to be controlled.

    Keep it up WhyTuesday!

  12. Carlos Says:

    I want people voting that care enough about the vote that are willing to put up with a little inconvenience.

    If you do not care enough about the future and leadership of our governement to take off a day of Yoga or whatever to vote, then why should your vote count the same as someone who cares enough to take the time to go vote.

    Voting is important to me, I will get out there and vote regardless or the weather or what I need to change in my day to do so. With 4 kids of different ages and 2 jobs, my time is always tight, but I still go out and do it.

    These barriers to voting, which are merely inconveniences, are a very good thing. It keeps the ballots free from the lazy and undedicated.

    Voting in many other countries is not nearly as convinient as it is for us, and they have much higher turnout.

    The problem why US voting is low is not because its on a Tuesday, or that you need to register 30 days in advance. It’s that many people just don’t care enough. And if they don’t care, they should not vote.

    Carlos

  13. Serlady Says:

    Carlos, what a horrible attitude. it is on par with saying “anyone who doesnt think like me or look like me or vote like me shouldnt have a vote”. not very american, hmmm? i was recently in Jamaica on my honeymoon, on the day they elected their new Prime Minister. Businesses were closed, bars shut down, people came out of their homes en masse and gathered at the voting places. why isnt voting day a national holiday? we all americans should be devoted to this, our right, our own check and balance, our contribution to our own government. dont even get me started about the Electoral College. of the people means of the people, not of a few people’s interpretation of the peoples’ vote…

  14. Rdizzle Says:

    I believe inconvenience is not a valid excuse for apathy. In my county (Los Angeles, CA) it is fairly simple to vote via mail, thus avoiding so called “inconveniences”. If someone doesn’t care about voting to begin with, I doubt changing the day of the election will have any effect.

  15. Barnett Zitron Says:

    RDizzle:

    Inconvenience is never an excuse for apathy. There are barriers that make the voting process hard for some people, and that should not be confused with apathy. It should be noted that voting by mail in LA is a luxury item that some Americans do not have.

    For example, in Mississippi, a single mother who juggles two jobs cannot vote by mail or submit a no-excuse absentee ballot. I am sure you’d agree that when you have children and multiple there are unexpected events that might prevent you from going to the polls. Those are the same unforeseen reasons that attract you to vote-by-mail.

    In fact, the few States and localities that have adopted a vote-by-mail system experience higher turnout than the national average.

  16. Cody Cooper Says:

    Mr. Zitron is entirely correct; and Mr. Dizzle, in addition to suffering an unfortunate name, suffers from myopia and is illustrative of the need for all of us to expand our vision and be more inclusive of the realities of others.

  17. Eduardo Segura Says:

    Let’s not complicate things. It is obvious that our voting system is broken when we rank 139th out of 172 countries. The Tuesday after the first Monday is something outdated when the country was comprised of mostly farmers. We’re in a different time where PDA’s and tight schedules are what make up today’s working class. It’s a simple change and an obvious one, just move Election Day to Sunday. Anyday is a good day to vote but, you and I can agree that there are better days than other and the weekend is a hell of a lot better than a Tuesday.

  18. Melanie Sedqi Says:

    It really doesn’t matter so much which day of the week election day is so much as it should be a Federal holiday. Our electoral system is in desparate need of an overhaul. Our current two party system is a political straight jacket. We need to make it easier for more parties and more candidates to compete. Many people are apathetic about voting because their beliefs just don’t fit into the duopoly of American politics. Ranked voting systems such as Instant Runoff Voting are a positive start to fixing the system.

  19. Meredith Christine Maxwell Says:

    most European nations vote on weekends and vote for more than one day. You think if congress really cared about big D democracy they would do things like make voting convenient for people. That’s like your coverage of Caucuses, caucuses are the most archaic backward way to select candidates, yet many states still do it. And more importantly the states that we consider the most important states in selecting presidential nominees do it still. They disenfranchise voters wholesale, yet people love tradition. When will we see real change ?

  20. James Koren Says:

    The goal of any election reform should be to make sure that everyone who wants to vote can, and that all votes are counted accurately.

    I dare say most engaged voters will vote regardless of the day of the election. Polls are open for 13 hours. People who want to be part of the process have ample opportunity to vote.

    If voting were held on a weekend, wouldn’t many of the people who say they are disenfranchised now (foodservice and hospitality workers, laborers who don’t work 9-5 jobs) still have a hard time getting to the polls? Also, if voters aren’t engaged, what’s to stop them from traveling over the weekend, especially if election day becomes a national holiday?

    We need to make sure ballots are counted accurately. I we want more turnout, we have to rely on candidates to give us something to turn out for.

  21. david thompson Says:

    I believe you need to standardise all your voting systems and make it compulsory as we do in Australia as we believe that many have died to get the right to vote and all should exercise that right even if forced too. Also we utilise preferential voting to ensure an accurate reflection of the voters wishes rather than first past the post.From my perspective your different formats for voting should be abolished and one simple standard method introduced and one day for all states which doesnt have to be tuesday, we vote on saturdays after a 4-6 week campaign.

  22. Alan Smith Says:

    You’ve got a practical problem in moving the national election day from a Tuesday to the weekend. Move it to Saturday, and a sizeable number of the practicing Christian population will be forced to choose between voting and worshipping on the sabbath (one of the reasons why election day was never on a Sunday to begin with). Move it to Saturday, and a sizeable number of practicing Jews will be forced to choose between voting and worshipping on the sabbath. Either choice risks insulting a powerful religious voting bloc and is, simply put, political dynamite.

  23. Jed Says:

    To respond to Alan Smith above me, I’m a Christian and go to church for a few hours on Sunday mornings, but that’s not what would stop me from voting on the weekends. I am employed at a restaurant and work all the weekends, as do a lot of lower class people who are in the service industries.
    Ah, Friday, the poor man’s Monday.

  24. Cody Cooper Says:

    If Why Tuesday? organized a meaningful PACKAGE of adjustments to the logistics of how we vote, I believe it would make a difference…for exmple a combination of a Voting Holiday, and instant Registration could be helpful in creating new dynamics to voting.

  25. a.erol Says:

    voting system should be changed so that some social issues may as well be put on vote.. politics is too important to be left to politicians!

  26. Cory McConnaughy Says:

    Honestly, if someone doesn’t vote from being inconvenienced, I’d rather not have them vote. Our nation’s future is too important for it to be placed in the hands of people who would so flippantly refuse to become involved.

  27. Luke Phillips Says:

    Won´t somebody think of the market?? How am I supposed to sell my cow if we change Election Day to Saturday?

  28. Mugsy Says:

    Another reason “Why Tuesday?” Some added trivia:

    It’s not just “Tuesday”, but “the first Tuesday after a Monday” (technically, the first Tuesday after Nov 1st). The reason for that is because, at the time, before phones, radio, TV or even film, most people’s primary source of news was “work”. In urban areas, going in to work on Monday and only then finding out it was “Election Day” would of given many people no time to prepare. So Election Day was scheduled to take place after at least one November workday had passed.

  29. Dan Kelly Says:

    It doesn’t matter which day to me. In Oregon, where I live we can only vote one way… by MAIL. There is absolutly NO excuse why 100% of the people don’t vote. Speaking for myself, if ya don’t vote, ya can’t B!t(#, and I Love to B!t(#.

  30. Concerned Citizen Says:

    Although it is touted as such, our nation is not a pure democracy, but a federal republic. We elect representatives that are supposed to do our bidding but there is nothing that binds them to it.

  31. Just got Citizenship Says:

    I still can’t believe that such an advance nation has so outdated ideas and laws.
    Delegates and superdelagates??? what happened to one person-one vote, where is democracy. Somebody mentioned absentee voting, but I think that is not the solution, just do the right thing and change the voting day so EVERY AMERICAN can vote.

  32. Verena Says:

    I don’t think changing election day to Saturday is helpful- that just screws people who work weekends, many of whom work shifts of twelve hours or more. Transportation also runs less on weekends, making it harder to get to the polls. Rather, I think we should make election day a federal holiday as they do in my fiance’s country (where elections aren’t even real!)

  33. Timothy Says:

    Why cant we change it? Because of the twin demons of TRADITION and CUSTOM. These two have blocked more rational change than the moral majority. We cant even seem to dump the dinosaur of daylight savings time, let lone change the sacred day we hold our elections.

  34. J. Kilvington Says:

    I am a believer in a National Voting Holiday.

    Tuesday remains Election Day.

    The Monday before Election Day is the National Voters Day, where legally all working people are allowed to vote, and by law ALL WORKING PEOPLE MUST BE AFFORDED MONDAY OR TUESDAY OR BOTH DAYS OFF!

    That said, further the weekend before becomes Voting Weekend when some of the polls must be open (demarcated and publicized) for early voting so that Business Owners, Self Employed, and others unable to take time off on Monday or Tuesday are afforded convenience at the polls.

    Therefore there would be four days of National in-person balloting per year, as well as mail-in balloting.

    Finally, it is only a matter of time, before we can safely, accurately and accountably create a computer based system which will allow people to vote (internet, text, phone, etc.) for politicians as easily as they can vote for the contests on Television.

  35. Pete Moor Says:

    As a Brit immigrant, voting on a Tuesday has always struck me as being ever so slightly barmy. This is coming into sharper focus now I’m on the brink of having a vote here. And the focus has been sharpened further by the Dem primaries, and the Florida & Michigan débâcles.

    This web page hints that Tuesday voting is in fact a law. But does that also apply to Primaries? As a potential Democrat, why should our party not set the pace by choosing Saturday, or Sunday on the way from the chapel to the pub? :)

    As for caucuses, they strike me as some sort of dysfunctional Tupperware party.

    “You’ve already conceded that it’s dotty,” said the Cheshire Cat, grinning sardonically. “So what else did you expect?”

  36. Ron K of Illinois Says:

    The last 3 times that I voted, the polling place had changed. Since I live in a rural area near a small town it wasn’t a problem to drive through town untill I found the tell-tale signs that a voting place was near. (All those little political posters on stakes) I don’t know if it’s because this is a Republic dominated county (no democrats are even on the ballot for most county offices) and I’m a Democrat, but it doesn’t take long for all my Obama signs to get destroyed every time I replace the last one they “shot up”. Police are real helpful they just tell me that it’s “probably just kids”. Kids with shotguns running around late at night.

  37. mary adkins Says:

    just read in newspaper about why vote on tuesday i guess i never knew why just that we did. this needs to be changed so that everyone has a chance to vote either on saturday or sunday and yes i’m a christian.

  38. sandy wilks Says:

    I think we should vote by mail! I understand that ever since they started that in Oregon, about a decade ago, voter participation went way up.

  39. Keith Towell Says:

    There are 3 things that are needed to correct the election process. 1.) Change the vote to the end of the week. 2.) The candidates can spend no more than the job pays to get elected. 3.) Donations can only come from voters. If you can vote for the candidate you can contribute to that candidate only.

    Number 2 is probably the best. If you or I spent $300,000.00 to get a job that only pays $20,000.00 per year, they would call us lunatics and have us committed.

  40. Christopher Says:

    @#30 Concerned Citizen Says:

    At least one person got it correct. Thankfully, we are not a pure democracy, but a federal republic.

    Why is this important? Why don’t we just go to popular vote?

    If we went to popular vote, the large cities of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, LA and the like would carry more weight than dozens of the smaller populated states.

    A politician would just have to put a chicken in every pot for the large cities, and the rest of the country is screwed.

    Basically it prevents mob rule. Think mob rule isn’t so bad? A gang rape is democracy in action.

  41. whim Says:

    Here in Oregon we vote by mail, which is wonderful. You can vote any time you want a few weeks before election day, and either mail your ballot in, or drop it off at multiple locations (I always drop mine off at my library, which is close to where I live). Not only does it increase voter turnout, it gives you more time to fill out your ballot, so you can vote intelligently. Plus it gets rid of last minute election craziness — by the time election day rolls around, most people have already voted, so no last minute surprises. I think all states should switch to vote by mail, in which case the day can stay Tuesday.

  42. JakobFabian01 Says:

    Let’s LENGTHEN Voting Day to two or three days. How about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday? That way, nobody has to vote on a holy day.

    Pay no attention to the fear-mongers who bleat that a more accessible or fairer electoral system would lead to “mob rule.” The strongest defenses against mob rule are the Bill of Rights and a free press, not the slave-o-cratic Electoral College, the un-representative Senate, the monarchist Unitary Executive, or any form of disenfranchisement. Let’s give everybody’s vote the same weight as everybody else’s. If you’re afraid of that, then you’re afraid of democracy, and I’m sorry to say that the USA is not the place for you.

  43. R H Says:

    I look at all of this, and actually…

    #9: That was the point of the post you just replied to. Voting was evidently less important to you than attending yoga.

    Voting via mail: Great idea! I’m sure we would all love the jump in election fraud! ( I know enough to know it will go up. )

    Getting rid of the electoral collage: Study your history, and check up on the idea of the ‘tyranny of the majority.’ It exists to make it impossible for somebody to become president without winning at least a few low-population states — this is the same reason the rules were what they were for the House and why we have the Senate. ( I do agree that we need to start adding seats to the House — from what I can tell, the main reason they capped the number of seats was because they were too lazy to find room for the extra chairs. I suggest folding chairs…and that Representatives loose some weight. )

    As for the rest… Moving it to a different day is either not going to change the problem beyond having lots of people turn up on the wrong day — and that’s ignoring the fact that when it comes to weekends, Sunday’s much more feasible than Saturday unless you really don’t care about members of some minorities getting to vote. Voting by mail’s simply going to render fraud infinitely easier — and finding out where & who did it would become damn near impossible. ( I am too cynical, and have heard too many tales of election fraud, to believe that fake mailed-in votes will get canceled out by purposely-misplaced mailed-in votes. )

    The best of the suggestions is to make it a national holiday. However, I’d expect big sales and drunken parties to pop up like mushrooms, which would sort of defeat the entire point of making it a national holiday anyway.

    Personally? I think the best solution is longer polling hours — perhaps have it open from 12:00AM to 11:59PM Tuesday. Or better yet, there’s this thing called an absentee ballot, which already exists and you can have one just by asking for it. As far as I know, you don’t even need to explain why you want one, you just have to get it turned in by election day and you’re done!

    Voting needs to require a bit of effort on the part of the voter. It ought to require some thought, and actually taking the time to go pick up an absentee ballot or going to the polls. If you can’t be bothered to, say, turn off your TV for long enough to go vote…doesn’t this say a lot about what’s more important in your life?

  44. ChicagoDP Says:

    I agree that the day to vote needs to be changed. But, like others, I believe that a universal direct suffrage system is better than our indirect system today. Electorates and the electoral college doesn’t make sense. Everyone’s vote DOESN’T count. Let’s say Obama is able to increase the actual popular votes is states like Illinois, California, New York and overtakes McCain as a result in the popular vote (by much more than Gore/Bush in 2000). But, he doesn’t receive anymore electoral votes because NY, CA and IL already goes D. It’s illogical. Let’s fix both the suffrage system and the voting day together. That will energize thousands, maybe millions, to join in on voting day!

  45. Chris K. Says:

    I support four changes to the election system in the U.S.:

    (1) Elections should be moved from Tuesdays to Sundays, Saturdays, or, in the case of the fall general election, to Veterans’ Day.

    (2) Split-ticket voting should be allowed in primary elections as well as general elections.

    (3) Employers should be required to grant time off to all employees – full-time or part-time, union or non-union, old or young, etc. – so no one has to stand in line for inordinate periods just to vote.

    (4) No picture ID should be required to be able to vote. (This requirement effectively disenfranchises minorities, the homeless, the elderly, college students, and stalking victims.)

  46. Vote ‘08: Vote by Mail and Registration Deadlines | netZoo.net ~ new media | politics | music | Cubs Says:

    [...] would be easiest to drop by a ballot box on a saturday or sunday, considering we’re not all farmers [...]

  47. David Ciulla Says:

    Who cares what day it is, just do it.

    Sheeze… there are more important issues other than what day you vote on. Besides, those who won’t, can’t, or refuse to vote, should not complain when things in our society don’t go as they want… so go and vote if you want to see change. This talk about “your vote really doesn’t count” is foolish because there is no proof of that.

  48. bob Says:

    the reason it’s not on the weekend is the founding fathers knew that the weekends were for drinking and whoring around. clearly not a good day to vote. monday is hangover day so that makes tuesday the best possible election day! duh ;)

    also pure democracy is a horrible form of government. the majority will always take advantage of the minority. you must have republic with individual rights or you end up with mob rule with certain groups getting gang raped by the mob.

  49. bob Says:

    everyone is a minority in one area or another.

  50. AJ Says:

    Absentee ballots suck!!! In most states, absentee ballots were still being counted even if the candidate was already declared for each state. I say it should be on the weekend. It is convenient, most people don’t have work on the weekends, and plus it can be the only significant, if not exciting thing, to look forward to instead of work. My absentee ballot came late in the mail, and regardless of the date I still sent it anyway to prove a point. This isn’t the 19th century, voting is now accessible in more areas compared to then, and transportation has evolved since then. It is time to look into the 21st Century. Absentee voting sucks in my opinion, although necessary.

  51. John D. Says:

    I support changing our election procedures. Please look into the Oregon vote by mail system. They have a great turnout and there doesn’t seem to be any major glitches or protests over its use. Why spend money on voting machines and blue ribbon committees to investigate voter fraud when this seems to work? Stop reinventing the wheel.

  52. Why do we vote on Tuesdays? | Eric Ashman - A Bothered Mind Says:

    [...] an interesting web site, Why Tuesday, that is focused on election reform, with their starting place focused on the day we vote. [...]

  53. John Robillard Says:

    In Sweden, voting day is the third sunday in September. Everyone who is eligible to vote gets a voting letter, showing polling place and which elections or proposals one may vote for. (I only get to vote in the local elections as I am still a US citizen). Voting is done with color-coded paper ballots (local, provincial, national) which are sealed in envelopes by the voter. The envelopes have holes showing the colors of the ballots and the registrars mark off the voter and votes and put the envelopes in the appropriate locked ballot box. The votes are counted by volunteers from the various political parties and we see who won the same night. It works like a charm.

  54. NYT: American Voting System STILL Broken | TakePart Social Action Network™ Says:

    [...] The NYT editorial mainly advocates for universal voter registration, sort of like what we saw when we visited North Dakota on Election Day, and for more lenient voter ID laws. There’s no mention, however, of a problem that is routinely cited by Americans time after time in U.S. Census data: for many Americans, voting is simply inconvenient. In more than a handful of states, you can only vote on “the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.” Why Tuesday? Here’s the answer. [...]

  55. Zoba Says:

    I’ve never given this a try, but I think it’s about time I do.

  56. Griselda Says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

  57. Ben Raue Says:

    In Australia and New Zealand all elections are held on Saturdays and it works great.

  58. Jack McCullough Says:

    I support the idea of increasing election participation, but I think most of these efforts are missing the point. Voting is easy. Voting on Election Day is easy. Seriously, anyone who gives a rat’s ass about the well-being of their city, state, or country can get out to the polls and vote. I really believe that the majority of non-voters are like Janean (# 9), who said that she chose not to vote because she preferred to do something else on Election Day. I don’t think we’re losing much by having people who don’t care enough to vote not vote.

    There are serious issues that are not being addressed here. Foremost in my mind is felony disenfranchisement laws. In the majority of states that have them they are simply another mechanism to prevent blacks from voting, and they serve no legitimate public purpose. They should be outlawed at the federal level.

    The same is true of voter ID laws like the one recently upheld by the Supreme Court.

    I would say concentrate your efforts on these issues rather than on the day of the week we choose to vote.

  59. bob sagar Says:

    We should vote on Sunday just to annoy all the god botherers.

  60. Tom Chees Says:

    Why can’t we vote by computer? This would eliminate the voting machines,the people to moniter them and the long lines.

  61. darth_borehd Says:

    Tom Chees: Because of concerns of the integrity of the votes. As Debra Brown outlines in her recent speech in San Francisco, computerized voting makes it EASIER not HARDER to tamper with the votes. For example, one company that was used in many states during the 2004 election was found to have many ways to physically access the machine (take off the screws on the back) and gain egress through connections (stick a USB thumb drive in it) and change the votes (that were kept in text files) and cover up any trace of this happening (by editing the logs). This was a closed-source voting machine which means the company was hiding these vulnerabilities. The ONLY way computerized voting will ever work is if the system is open-sourced so that all citizens can examine it independently for integrity.

  62. Voting on Tuesday is so two centuries ago « MNpublius.com Says:

    [...] Every election day, I’m reminded of how silly it is that we vote on Tuesdays. Why is it that election day is the “first Tuesday after the first Monday” of November? In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote. We were an agrarian society. We traveled by horse and buggy. Farmers needed a day to get to the county seat, a day to vote, and a day to get back, without interfering with the three days of worship. So that left Tuesday and Wednesday, but Wednesday was market day. So, Tuesday it was. In 1875 Congress extended the Tuesday date for national House elections and in 1914 for federal Senate elections. [Why Tuesday?] [...]

  63. Ezzy Says:

    It means having the kids at school eat lunch and breakfast outside.
    Means all the regular school staff having a hard time finding parking.
    Dropping off students and picking them up takes longer than usual and constant announcements to move your car out of the bus loading lanes.
    Means directing lost adults to the MP room in order to vote and wondering if they got lost on purpose.

  64. Todd Says:

    Mike (comment #4) “Do you really want everyone to vote? … Bottom line most people are not informed therefore I don’t believe they should vote. ”

    The bigger problem is people that are misinformed (you know those that vote differently than me). We can’t be the judge of who is or isn’t informed. You said yourself that it was very hard for you to vote in your country, and that you wondered if your vote even counted. If your vote was not counted, then it was probably discarded due to some politician that felt you were uninformed. I wonder how many men and women have died in uniform, that would be considered “uninformed”.

  65. Shyna David Says:

    I personally think that some traditions should be followed. Inspite of the logical concerns of Voting on Tuesday, i feel it more like a natural thing for me, at least!

  66. Justin Wright Says:

    First off good post with some good comments. Personally, I have never had a reason to complain about election day being on a Tuesday I figure it just is. If a person cannot find at the most 30 minutes out of their day to vote than I figure it really must not mean that much to them. You know what day it is so you can plan ahead. It’s not like it is just jumping up on you.

  67. demetri alexander Says:

    With the technology that is in place today what is the purpose of the electorial vote anyway. We are running our country on systems that were designed around the 1700 era. Things have to change with time. Can you imagine running a business like they did during that era?

  68. Oprah Says:

    We should follow the tradition. It has worked for over 200 years. We need more consistancy, not change. Change leads to chaos. Just imagine moving your pets food/water bowl everyday. Just imagine changing red traffic lights to blue. Hey, lets change gas to corn oil. Change from glass bottles to plastic. Be cautious when you ask for change, you may get it! O

  69. Craig Blocker Says:

    I’m wondering in case anyone knows what Canada’s immigration needs are. As an good old fart, I probably don’t have the “skills” they want. They’ll clearly identify that I’m fleeing a were unable country, looking for decent health reform.

  70. Ray Baker Says:

    Voting is a privilege of free people. It’s not McDonald’s drive-thru. People can make time in their busy schedules for everything else why not voting on the same day? The truth is, if it’s not convenient, they won’t do it. Voting should be a special event to which free people should aspire…or you can whine and complain and vote early and often.

  71. Voting? « History With the Mystery Girl Says:

    [...] according to Why Tuesday in 1845 America had an agrarian culture . Meaning that America had to set a aside a day that [...]

  72. Mak Olsen Says:

    It’s time we move to a more advanced systems of voting – the way we are doing it now is hundreds of years old and things need to move on.

  73. sara q. Says:

    so it all begain because of martet day?

  74. Concerned Republican Citizen Says:

    Interesting to learn why voting day was chosen as Tuesday. And even more interesting reading all the comments… When did we forget that our nation is a Republic, not a democracy? True, we are a republic tempered BY democracy, but never a true democracy. If we were democracy, we would have NO elections…..there wouldn’t be one person in charge for a period of time. And the comment that voting doesn’t matter….it does. Because so few people vote anymore, the electorial college can be influenced more by media and liberalists, and less by the voice of the American people. I understand that it is difficult to get to the voting places and thru the lines to make your choice, but this is why they are available until 7PM. Most people get off by 5 or 6 at the latest, and those that don’t are usually not to work until later in the day, and the polls open at 7AM – so the excuse that they don’t have time? nothing but an excuse! Now, if you say the lines are so long that by the time I get to sign in, the polls have been closed..well, its better, but not by much. I just say hold the elections over a 2 day period. Not on a Saturday or a Sunday – those are still very “religious” days for many people, and they won’t vote for the very reason that it goes against their religion to do anything but worship on that day – including to make food. They make the meals, have them ready before nightfall the day before. These people would never be able to vote because of their religious convictions, when they can vote on a Tuesday…polls open from 7AM to 7PM, or even 7AM to 9PM, an extended period, and for 2 days, say Monday-Tuesday, or Tuesday-Wednesday…or even Friday-Saturday, and that weekend be a 3-day weekend, basically making voting day(s) a holiday per say.
    Truth: In the end the electorial college has the final say in who gets elected
    Truth: The electorial college is very much swayed by the “voice(s)” of the media, liberalists, lobbyists, etc, who want certain people in for their own reasons…and not for the greater good of America.
    Truth: Many citizens won’t vote, giving the excuse they “don’t have the time”.
    Truth: If more people voted, the electorial college would have more of the “American voice” to listen to, which might possibly overide the voice of the media and liberalists who currently control everything.
    I have said my piece, and hope my “voice” can be heard.

  75. Jaz Binda Says:

    I always thought that was the reason why we voted on Tuesday. Jaz

  76. Bob Tobias Says:

    Heck, the answer is in the original article. Vote *on* Columbus day.

  77. Paul Rodriguez Says:

    (5) You say people are misinformed,First most people who vote are not fully informed w some may disagree with me but We should have Tuesday off and voting should be a required.(At least the 2x or even 1x a every 4 years for President)Yes I understand we all love our freedom not to yada yada,But if this where the process many more people will want to get informed and I also have a feeling that politicians would walk a tighter rope then the boardwalk we give them.We also need to get rid off the “Electoral Vote” every vote should count,So A person living in a red or blue state will not have the feeling their vote does not count,which is the case for many.I don’t think that having all Americans be truely American and part of this process is too much to ask for.

  78. Steve Howells Says:

    If you hold election day on Saturday or Sunday half of America is HUNGOVER and will not bother to vote.

  79. Why We Should Vote on the Weekend – Clear, Concise, Collegiate Opinions Says:

    [...] that fit better with the agrarian calendar that dominated 19th century American life. According to Why Tuesday? it took many people in the 1850s over a day to travel to their polling stations, so voting had to [...]

  80. Jon Says:

    Given the history, how does anyone who lives closer than a day from his/her polling place really complain about being too busy? You can make it any day you like. Those who want to vote will do so. Those who don’t won’t vote. Being too busy is largely an excuse. If you took a shower on Election Day, you had time to vote. If you prioritized the shower over voting, I am not judging you but don’t tell me you were too busy to vote — and certainly don’t tell that farmer who traveled two days on a horse.

  81. henry swedlaw Says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that there would be higher voter turnout on Saturday than Tuesday. Most people work on Tuesday, and getting to the polls (usually before or after work) and often standing in long lines can be a time-consuming hassle. I suspect that one of the obstacles to Saturday voting is the fact that thousands of state, local and federal employees would have to give up a weekend day.

  82. BTex Says:

    I don’t know about other states, but in Texas we have early voting every day of the week except Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm the two weeks prior to the Tuesday election day. If you can’t find the time to vote during that time you probably don’t need to vote.

  83. AEI Citizenship – Why Tuesday? Says:

    [...] Do you know why we vote on Tuesday? Here’s the answer: [...]

  84. No More Tuesday Voting | Kikis Grub Talk Says:

    [...] United States voter turnabout along side with the rest of the worlds voting centuries. According to Why Tuesday the reason behind why everyone in the United States must vote on a Tuesday is because “We [...]

  85. Sandy Coops Says:

    Tuesday? Why not. Its a pretty good day.

  86. IRA SY Valfer Says:

    You miss the point about “WHY TUESDAY?” The framers of the Constitution were aware of the various religious citizens in their midst. The middle of the week may have been chosen for the farmers, as you state. But remember that the Constitution ensures that November 1(All Saints Day) WILL NOT be election day. “The first Tuesday AFTER the first Monday.” (emphasis added) A better response would be to encourage Congress to add Election Day as a full Federal Paid Holiday. Instead of the guarantee time off to vote if at work during poll hours.

  87. Don Varden Says:

    A person living in a red or blue state will not have the feeling their vote does not count,which is the case for many.I don’t think that having all Americans be truely American and part of this process is too much to ask for.

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  89. Medisoft Says:

    This talk about “your vote really doesn’t count” is foolish because there is no proof of that.

  90. Why is Election Day always on a Tuesday? | Saint Petersblog Says:

    [...] the advocacy group “Why Tuesday” which suggests that voting be moved to the weekends. Share this [...]

  91. Eye on Williamson » The true fraud in our voting system Says:

    [...] half a century. So why do we vote on Tuesday? In 15 states Tuesday is the only option. Absolutely no good reason whatsoever, as you’ll see in this TED talk by our Jacob Soboroff. This year, we teamed up with Participant [...]

  92. Louisiana History Class - Baton Rouge Says:

    We had a debate in class about your bill!
    We think that the election should be open for several days.
    Another idea is that it should be a National Holiday where we all are allowed a half to a whole day off.

    Thanks!

  93. nathan kinney Says:

    they really should move the vote this year, Halo 4 comes out on nov. 6 and they’ll lose alot of votes to people who would rather do that.

  94. Why Do We Vote On A Tuesday In November? (Take Our Blaze Poll) | News Says:

    [...] face of Why Tuesday? is a gentleman named Jacob Soboroff. In April, Jacob addressed a TED audience.  His theory is that moving elections from Tuesdays to weekends would increase voter [...]

  95. Jacinta from Australia Says:

    Hi US folk.

    Only last night I learnt about your polling day being on a Tuesday and how this continues to restrict people from voting. I was told that some people are simply unable to get time off work to vote. Is this true? I’m gobsmacked. It seems so completely archaic to not have a system that *ensures* that you are able to vote. I watched this video to the end and felt reassured that something was changing for you all, but then I saw that the comments began in 2007!

    Voting is compulsory in Australia and, though I’m sure we have some half-wits voting amongst us, and though I have my gripes about the government as most people do, I think we have a reasonably good system. Voting is always on a Saturday, and the polling booths are open from early to late so that even people who are doing an 8 hour day can still get to a booth somewhere. Oh, and we still have paper votes! No hacking going on over here!

  96. dárky pro muže Says:

    These barriers to voting, which are merely inconveniences, are a very good thing. It keeps the ballots free from the lazy and undedicated.

  97. IA Guy Says:

    They had enough foresight in 1845 to know that it would conflict with Monday Night Football. That’s why it’s a Tuesday.

  98. Why Do We Vote On Tuesday? – Todd Library: Featured Resources Blog Says:

    [...] Why Tuesday? » Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?. [...]

  99. About Hadit Says:

    The only people who should be eligible to vote are 1. property owners, 2. do not receive any kind of govt assistance. Oh, and for the record I do not own any property.

  100. Why is Election Day always on a Tuesday? | Saint Petersblog Says:

    [...] advocacy group “Why Tuesday” suggests that voting be moved to the weekends. Share this article:EmailPrint [...]

  101. Aussie Says:

    We vote on Saturday in Australia where we have compulsory voting. Quite a carnival spirit and most people appreciate their responsibility in the political process. Importantly, it’s much more convenient on a weekend because most people can easily get to a polling booth without having to juggle around, work, school etc. Tuesday voting just seems bizarre and inconvenient. I’m sure your voter turnout would explode if you moved it to a weekend.

  102. Mathew Says:

    It’s in fact very complicated in this active life to listen news on Television, thus I only use web for that purpose, and obtain the most recent news.

  103. Matt Says:

    It really should not be on Tuesday. It should be on weekends, so that full-time workers are not as inconvenienced and crunched for time when it comes to voting.

    Some would argue that those who do not care enough to inconvenience themselves to vote should not at all, and I understand your point of view, but in reality what is happening is that those who are not working at all are having the easiest time voting.

    Many people with long hours and family to take care of don’t skip voting due to laziness, they simply cannot find the time in many cases.

    We need to change it to a Saturday, so that actual workers aren’t at a disadvantage here compared to the unemployed.

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  105. Another Aussie Says:

    Saturday voting works great in Australia, and most places in the world vote on weekends.
    Fascinating to see why you vote on tuesday – the lines look like a 3rd world country, never had to wait more than 5 minutes here.
    Your populationis so huge you should just do it over a few days, start on Saturday end on that tuesday.
    I do postal votes – available for anyone here, then work counting votes and having fun our election day is lively & exciting.

  106. Monsoon Eddy Says:

    Saturday voting at the Mall and all high schools; lots of parking and no waiting.

    And voting without fraud, see Ted Talk by David Bismark: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_bismark_e_voting_without_fraud.html

  107. melvin weisz Says:

    i agree to change voting dates to saturday and sunday
    however comments or petitions will not accomplish anything,what is needed is an organized program involving all segments of the electorate in each state who then can influence their representatives and senators.if interested i can help to outlne and implement this program

  108. melvin weisz Says:

    ok i agree to change voting to saturday and sunday.petitions and comments will not accomplish the goal. what is needed is a state by state organization, if interested i can outline an help in this project,
    all gratis

  109. Brian Says:

    Why not do vote by mail instead, as we do here in Oregon? Oregonians get our ballot in the mail, and can either mail it back or drop it off at indoor and (24-hour) outdoor drop boxes at libraries and city halls (even a few fast-food places). It just has to be in the hands o the elections office by 8pm on a Tuesday.

  110. Steve Kapitan Says:

    In addition to considering transportation by horse and isolated homesteads our founding fathers also took into consideration the agricultural cycle. By establishing election day in early November they avoided a conflict with the harvest, a busy time for farmers. That was over 200 years ago. Look around the world. The vast majority of countries have their elections on the weekend. Of those few that hold elections on weekdays most declare it a holiday.
    As for the people who don’t want the unmotivated to vote, have you considered the positive impact of making voting, an activity of critical importance to maintaining a democracy, the focus of the day? Would this not reinforce its importance and create peer pressure on the uninformed to pay more attention and participate?
    There is another good reason that has not been mentioned. Most county and state election officials have a hard time finding enough quality poll workers to work a 14 hour day for less than minimum wage. Even dedicated citizens don’t want to give up a work day to work longer hours at the polling place for less money. Most poll workers in my city are retired, unemployed or students. If election day were on the weekend we could attract more quality workers and a more representative cross-section of the community to oversee the voting.
    This would strengthen our democracy and social cohesion by developing a shared sense of community that is vital to preserving and strengthening the oldest democracy in the world. And that doesn’t happen with voting by mail.

  111. Cohen, Nocera and Bruni | Marion in Savannah Says:

    [...] why elections fall on a Tuesday in early November? I didn’t either. According to a group called Why Tuesday?, it goes back to the 1840s, when “farmers needed a day to get to the county seat, a day to vote, [...]

  112. cody Says:

    As this is the 21st century you would think there would be a 24 hour online voting period. There is absolutely 0 need to go into a voting booth on a Tuesday.

  113. Headshot photographer London Says:

    In the UK voting is generally on a Thursday if memory serves or even a Friday.

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Why Tuesday? is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections... More

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