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Posts by Jacob Soboroff

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The Struggle To Increase Voter Turnout

This morning I explained to Soledad O’Brien on CNN’s Starting Point why Americans have historically voted on Tuesdays and why we should move Election Day to the weekend. Soledad brought up that in Puerto Rico, Election Day is a holiday and turnout can get up to 90% of eligible voters. Her point was great, and I told her as much:

As you said, in Puerto Rico, [Election Day is] a national holiday. People are out in the streets celebrating. In America, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November is a work day, just like any other day. In New Hampshire, where you are right now, it’s one of the most political states in the entire Union and the last primary election for president held there 53% of the people showed up to vote.

Watch the video for more of our conversation. (more…)

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Enough Is Enough

Before we headed to Iowa to ask the 2012 GOP candidates how they’d protect our right to vote, I stopped by the Current TV studio of The Young Turks to talk about why we were hitting the road. Host Michael Shure asked me about how new restrictions on the franchise this election cycle play into our work. I told him they go hand in hand:

Enough is enough with some of these laws in some of these states. People are trying to roll back the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which said we’re going to take a good hard look at any proposed changes in states with a history of discrimination… from Texas to Florida, wherever. Any attempt to restrict the franchise. Whether it’s voter ID or taking back early voting is terrible, and it’s very closely connected with what we’re doing at Why Tuesday.

Watch our entire conversation. (more…)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Why vote on Tuesdays? No good reason.

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? (more…)

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Why Tuesday? Ask The Candidates

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum don’t know why we vote on Tuesday. Mitt Romney thinks good candidates will increase voter turnout. And Michele Bachmann stands on an apple box when speaking at the podium. Those are a few things I learned after three days on the ground in Iowa, home of our first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses.

On January 3rd, voters in Iowa will start the nominating process for the Republican presidential nominee and in all likelihood, voter participation will not be good. It hasn’t been for the last fifty-plus years, and all indications are that isn’t going to be any better this time around.

Making matters worse, new obstacles to casting a ballot across the nation are so bad Attorney General Eric Holder spoke up last week with a major address at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas. His message: nearly half a century after LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act, our right to vote is in jeopardy.

How will our presidential candidates protect our right to vote? Now seemed as good a time as ever to bring this vital question to the 2012 candidates campaigning in Iowa, so we teamed up with Participant Media’s TakePart, and that’s exactly what we did. (more…)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

You ‘Need To Know’ Norm Ornstein

Our co-founder and resident scholar Norman J. Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute appeared with legendary political journalist Jeff Greenfield on the PBS series Need To Know last week to discuss “Making Congress Work.” They were joined by Mickey Edwards, the former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma and Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee.

Laura LeBlanc at PBS provides context for this conversation:

Congress has never been very popular, but its public image is currently at a historic low. Recent approval ratings for the first branch of government range from only 9 to 13 percent, depending on whom you ask, and frustration is coming from both sides of the political aisle… As a body, Congress is more polarized than ever.

Amongst all of the topics discussed in their nearly 20-minute chat was how to raise voter participation. Norm suggested mandatory voting and also Weekend Voting, as you might suspect. The discussion of voter participation starts at the 8-minute mark. (more…)

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Quoting Chris Rock on MSNBC

Yes, indeed, I did quote Chris Rock yesterday on MSNBC when talking about our efforts to making voting as accessible, convenient and reliable for all Americans. I spoke with host Thomas Roberts about the Weekend Voting Act and ways the franchise is being restricted this election cycle.

Thomas kicked off our chat with an important question:

Why have the rules around this vote not changed and stuck around so long as modern day society has obviously advanced from having to worry about our harvest and leaving from home on a Sunday night to get somewhere by Tuesday?

To find out my answer, watch the video. (more…)

About Us

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

The Answer

In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote... More

Recent Comments

In France they last voted on a Sunday. France is despite the Bourbon legacy a largely Catholic country, yet they vote on Sunday...

Posted by Patrick on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

I think weekend voting would make the most sense, as people wouldn't have tu run home after work or wake up early to hit the polling stations beforehand.

Posted by Zander on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

Sunday would be inconvenient for Christians. We should, 1. Move the voting day to Saturday. 2...

Posted by John on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?