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#LetsFixIt With The Roots

It’s not every day our team gets together with Martin Luther King III, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Questlove and The Roots to rally to get out the vote and protect the right to vote. But that’s exactly what we did this week.

The fathers of Bill Wachtel, our founder, King III and Kennedy Jr. all fought together for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Each of them took turns addressing the incredible crowd at Webster Hall with a simple message: with voter turnout still at horrendous lows despite so many important issues to get out and vote on, we can and we MUST pass a law to make voting accessible, convenient and reliable for every American. Here are a few images from a night none of us will forget:

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Our #LetsFixIt Challenge

Win $64,000 by predicting this year’s turnout

As usual, 2014 voter turnout is going to be low. How low? Predict this years turnout correctly and you could win up to a $64,000 cash prize.

Check out the challenge here.

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Posted by Tom Rossmeissl

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The 2014 Voting in America Summit

Wednesday night, we turned a page in our movement to fix our broken voting system. Bringing together leaders from across the political spectrum — including Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer, former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Congressman John Larson and dozens of voting experts — we renewed the debate about how to reform our voting system.

Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott started last night’s discussion by explaining his father’s own struggle with the inconvenience of voting. His father started his shift at the shipyard at 7 AM, and often came home either too late or too tired to make it to the polls before closing. Lott advocated mimicking Louisiana’s practice of weekend voting.

Some other highlights:

  • Steny Hoyer derided the starving of the Election Assistance Commission. He reminded us of the importance of each and every vote, reflecting on Florida’s 2000 debacle.
  • WhyTuesday? co-founder, Norm Ornstein criticized the partisanship of voting officials: “If the referees owned shares of the Miami Heat, the fans would have a problem with it. But that’s how we run our elections.”
  • Academics and lawyers walked us through the history of the Voting Rights Act and what is at stake since the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
  • While many of our panelists expressed frustration about how hard it is to take the partisanship out of electoral reform, our co-founder Bill Wachtel was adamant that when it comes to our most essential right, voting, morality has to trump politics. “LBJ knew that he was handing Republicans the South when he signed the Voting Rights Act, but there’s a reason it’s the Voting Rights Act and not the Voting Rights Bill.”
  • John Fund stated in no uncertain terms that he thinks “voting on Tuesday is crazy”, and added that although we need to confront fraud, “This is America. We don’t have to choose between making it easy to vote, and making it hard to cheat.”
  • Nicole Austin-Hillery asserted that “Voter fraud would be a nonstarter if we brought our voting system up to par.”
  • Maryland State Senator Jamin Raskin emphasized how important it is for citizens to remain vigilant about protecting the right to vote, by reminding us that it’s a right not expressly guaranteed by The Constitution.
  • And our wonderful moderator, CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, really hit home when he pointed out that only 8% of eligible voters participated in the shocking Virginia primary that unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

We’d like to thank all of our incredible speakers for their spirited debate, But this week’s summit was only the beginning. Together, we will end the deafening silence on our broken voting system.

Watch the full summit below:


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Posted by Tom Rossmeissl

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Summit on Election Reform

While the world’s most famous democracy ranks 138th out of 172 countries in the world in voter turnout, there remains a deafening silence in Washington about the critical condition of our voting system.

We’re determined to change that. So this week we kick-off a new chapter for Why Tuesday?. Join us today for a summit on election reform, and stay tuned for a new grassroots platform to push for a renewed debate.

WhyTuesday is sponsoring a summit along with The Hill brining together academics, thought leaders, and legislators from across the political spectrum.

Wednesday, June 11 | 5:30pm to 7:30pm

The Library of Congress

Madison Building, Mumford Room (6th Floor)

Register for the Event


RSVP for Live Stream


Moderator: Jeffrey Toobin, Legal Analyst for CNN and The New Yorker

The Hon. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), U.S. House of Representatives and House Democratic Whip

The Hon. Trent Lott (R-MS), Former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader

The Hon. John Larson (D-CT), U.S. House of Representatives

The Hon. Tom Cole (R-OK), U.S. House of Representatives

John Fund, Columnist, National Review Online

Janai Nelson, Associate Director/Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Nicole Austin-Hillery, Washington Director, New York University Brennan Center

Michael Kazin, Professor, Georgetown University

Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Jamin Raskin (D-MD), State Senator

Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow, Cato Institute

Ilya Somin, Professor, George Mason law school and author, “Democracy and Political Ignorance.”

Abigail Thernstrom, adjunct scholar, American Enterprise Institute & former vice chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Ambassador Andrew Young, Chairman, Why Tuesday



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Posted by Tom Rossmeissl

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“We can fix this, and we will,” said President Obama during his 2013 State of the Union address about the long lines, low turnout and deceptive practices that plague America’s broken voting system. But now its up to all of us—from both parties—to make it happen, especially after horrendously low 2014 voter turnout. That’s why we’ve launched FixIt.WhyTuesday.org to help track and contact your legislators on election reform.

EVIDENCE: Weekend voting works
TAKE ACTION: Pressure your legislators now
FAQ: Answers to your burning questions

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Posted by Tom Rossmeissl

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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

1) Repeal the 17th Amendment. 2) Raise the voting age back to 21. 3) You have to prove you're a US Citizen...

Posted by Joe H. on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

Why not just make it a federal holiday? Seriously... I work in county level government and we have election day off, extend that to the general population and then there's no issue.

Posted by l33tDad on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

I fully support the idea — expressed by two people so far — of moving general elections to Veterans Day...

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