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Rest In Peace, Friend

Jake Brewer, a member of our Advisory Board, was a key part of our team, and even better friend to us all. And this could be said for so many groups and causes and efforts he dedicated his time and energy to. We lost Jake yesterday. His contributions to our work were invaluable and he will be with us always. Everyone Jake ever touched, especially his family and friends, are in our thoughts and prayers. ‪Rest in peace, friend.

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Bernie Sanders: National Holiday Voting

This just in from the 2016 presidential campaign trail:

Thanks for pointing out how silly Tuesday voting is, Senator Sanders. Now we’d love to hear from the other 2016 candidates on election reform, as we did in 2012 and 2008. If YOU don’t know why we vote on Tuesday, you’ll find the answer here. Spoiler: absolutely no good reason whatsoever.

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Amb. Young to Candidates: Speak Up

The following post by our co-founder Ambassador Andrew Young first appeared as a letter to the editor in the New York Times.

In “Let the People Vote” (editorial, June 5), you are right to applaud Hillary Rodham Clinton in making voting reform a top priority. However, I firmly believe that this issue is not about Republican versus Democrat. I believe that all Americans want the same thing: a fraud-free election in which as many citizens vote as possible. It is a disgrace that turnout in America ranks 138th out of 172 democracies around the world.

It is common sense that if you want to fill voting booths: 1) you don’t hold elections on a single working day when many people with two jobs and single working parents can’t vote; and 2) you make it as easy as possible for all citizens to register, and today that means electronically.

I won’t accept the notion that any of the candidates, Democrat or Republican, who hold themselves out as capable of leading our nation think otherwise. For example, Senator Rand Paul has publicly asked, “Why don’t we be the party that’s for people voting, for voting rights?” and has introduced a bill to restore voting rights for nonviolent felons in federal elections.

So I call upon all candidates for president to follow in the steps of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Paul by speaking up on ways to increase voter turnout.

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Obama: Maybe Mandatory Voting?

Yesterday President Obama floated an idea our cofounder Norm Ornstein previously proposed in 2012 and 2006: mandatory voting might be the best way to increase America’s lousy voter participation.

Here’s what Norm said back in 2012:

In my view, the best way to ameliorate this malign dynamic is to find ways to enlarge the electorate in primaries and general elections — to move our politics to where persuadable voters in the middle have more impact. If I could do one thing to counter our dysfunction, it would be to adopt a version of the Australian system of mandatory attendance at the polls.

And 2006:

If there were mandatory voting in America, there’s a good chance that the ensuing reduction in extremist discourse would lead to genuine legislative progress. These days, valuable Congressional time is spent on frivolous or narrow issues (flag burning, same-sex marriage) that are intended only to spur on the party bases and ideological extremes. Consequently, important, complicated issues (pension and health-care reform) get short shrift.There’s no question that compulsory voting would be a tough sell. Congress would have to pass a law and the states would have to enforce it. Surveys on the subject regularly show substantial majorities opposed to the idea. Americans don’t like compulsory anything — we value the freedom not to vote.

But going to the polls doesn’t mean that you have to vote for a particular candidate. About three percent of Australians, for example, mark X on the ballot, the equivalent of “none of the above.”

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A #Selma50 Message To You

It’s been a big week for Why Tuesday? and the entire election reform movement. Saturday witnessed the bipartisan commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the events of “Bloody Sunday” when over 600 non-violent protesters were attacked by Alabama state troopers as they attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.

It was a reminder of how far we have come but also how far we have to go, as President Obama said on Saturday:

Of course, our democracy is not the task of Congress alone, or the courts alone, or the President alone. If every new voter suppression law was struck down today, we’d still have one of the lowest voting rates among free peoples. Fifty years ago, registering to vote here in Selma and much of the South meant guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar or bubbles on a bar of soap. It meant risking your dignity, and sometimes, your life. What is our excuse today for not voting? How do we so casually discard the right for which so many fought? How do we so fully give away our power, our voice, in shaping America’s future?

While the responsibility of citizenship calls us all to the polls, our laws are making it harder and harder to participate. New restrictive voter identification requirements disproportionately hurt minorities and the elderly. And while technology has made just about everything easier — from Uber to ATM’s — our elections are stuck in the past. As we’ve said over and over again: why on earth are we still voting on Tuesdays? No. Good. Reason.

In an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, our founding Board Member, Martin Luther King III, called for change:

I am dedicating myself to the next generation of voting rights — to fixing a problem that plagues black America and white America, that afflicts older Americans and younger Americans, that is as rampant in Blue America as in Red America — the precious right to vote.

Martin offers three immediate solutions — guaranteeing online registration, moving election day to the weekend (or expanding the voting period), and tasking the Social Security Administration to offer free identification cards as a stopgap in restrictive states. Have other ideas? Join the conversation on Facebook.

Lost in the partisan debates that circle DC, is a conversation about the most fundamental right in the world’s most famous democracy: our right to vote. It’s encouraging to see so much attention brought to it this week, and it’s on all of us to keep the debate going.

And in that spirit, Why Tuesday? is featured in a Selma promo that aired on Pivot TV recently. Watch it now!

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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 Blog Posts

Recent Comments

I forgot one: It's not fair to the west coast, Hawaii and Alaska that polls close hours earlier in the east of the country...

Posted by Edie K. on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

Election thoughts: 1. Do away with the electoral college 2. No exit polls 3. Equal amounts of money spent by candidates...

Posted by Edie K. on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

I think voting should be mandatory unless a special op-out for the few that it could be a problem for or those who have lost the right through due process...

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