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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Another (Quiet) Tuesday Election Day

I voted yesterday in Los Angeles. It was really quiet at my polling place in Silver Lake and — surprise, surprise — city wide. Really quiet. Only 15% 18% turnout according to the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Los Angeles Votes

For the record, there is absolutely no reason we are mandated to vote on Tuesday in municipal elections — cities just follow the lead of our national law. Why do we vote on Tuesday again in federal elections? Here’s the silly answer.

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

In CA, Take A Day Off To Vote, Maybe

CA Flag

Exciting news just announced by friend of Why Tuesday? and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen: if a new initiative makes the ballot and is passed by the voters of California, those of us who live in the Golden State may have the Tuesday after the first Monday in November (also known as federal Election Day) off from work. Here are the details from LAist.

Although our state Elections Code (Section 14000) stipulates that employees must be granted two hours of paid time, at the start or end of their shift, in order to go vote, [initiative backer Roy] Benson believes that making the day a holiday will find more people at the polls. In February, Benson posted to a Facebook group set up to support his initiative: “Election Day a public Holiday – to increase voter turnout, confidence in our election process, a step towards ‘in Order to form a more perfect Union.'”

Here’s the text of Benson’s proposed initiative right now as prepared by the Attorney General:

ELECTION DAY HOLIDAY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Establishes an Election Day state holiday as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November during even-numbered years. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state costs once every two years of probably less than $20 million. (11-0001.)

Bowen’s office describes the steps Benson must take to move forward:

[Benson] must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by September 1, 2011.

Here’s the complete blog post from LAist. As you know if you follow us here, San Francisco recently passed a weekend voting law, and Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, supports a similar idea there.

Photo of California flag via Kelzan on Flickr.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Weekend Voting Coming To San Fran

SF Weekend Voting

There were lots of election returns to pay attention to last night, but there was one in particular we had our eye on. “Proposition I” in San Francisco, also known as the “Saturday Voting Act,” passed, establishing a Saturday Election Day in addition to the traditional Tuesday one for the November 2011 general election there. According to the data, voters there cast their ballots overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition.

I – Polling places open on the Saturday before the November 2011 election

590 of 590 precincts reporting

• YES 92,158
• NO 63,949

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg endorsed the idea last week and encouraged the voters of San Francisco to make their city a national leader on the issue of election reform. The Saturday Election Day will take place if the money is raised privately to fund the endeavor. Proposition I was pushed by Why Tuesday? San Francisco, a local movement inspired by our work nationally.

Illustration of San Francisco voting on Saturday via Why Tuesday? San Francisco.

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Why Tuesday? San Francisco Launches

Exciting news! Our collective hard work to increase voter participation in the United States is paying off!

As you may have read this morning in the New York Times, the grassroots movement Why Tuesday? San Francisco is launching today to create a Saturday Election Day in their city! Their idea is to add a Saturday Election Day to the already-existing Tuesday voting to make voting as accessible and convenient as possible. But they can’t do it without you!

Visit WhyTuesdaySF.org now to find out more about the movement and what you can do to help.

The proposal needs thousands of signatures to make it on the ballot, and they can’t make it happen without you!

Visit WhyTuesdaySF.org now to find out more about the movement and what you can do to help.

In the words of U.S. Representative Steve Israel, who has twice introduced the Weekend Voting Act into the House of Representatives, “the best way to know if this is effective is to go ahead and do it. And if San Francisco can go ahead and do it, it could provide the hard data for the rest of the country.”

Visit WhyTuesdaySF.org now to find out more about the movement and what you can do to help.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Videoing Our Votes!

Last week we announced our partnership with YouTube and PBS for the Video Your Vote initiative. I’m happy to report that I was able to video my own (early) vote yesterday in Norwalk, CA at the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office alongside the star of our “famous” PSA. You can video YOUR vote by logging on to YouTube. (more…)

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

LinuxWorld Test Run For Open Source Voting

Next week in San Francisco a voting machine that runs on open source software and was designed by the Open Voting Consortium, a nonprofit with the stated goal of moving towards “trustable and open voting systems,” will be put to use at LinuxWorld, where they will be holding a mock election. Apparently 100,000 people are expected to participate. Here are some of the details from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The LinuxWorld conference is held every year in San Francisco to discuss open-source software – software whose code is designed and maintained by volunteers. The conference takes its name from Linux, computer operating system designed by Linus Torvalds in the 1990s that has a passionate following. It competes against Microsoft Windows and has spawned software for numerous devices, including voting machines.

Open-source software is free for anyone to use, although licensing restrictions apply – changes to the code, for example, usually need to be given back to the community. The code that runs this voting machine is based on the work of a former Berkeley student, Ka-Ping Yee, who now works at Google.

At a price of about $400, the new voting machine is a tenth of the cost of proprietary machines – less if made in quantity, Dechert said – because it’s simply designed and based on free software. Its workings are transparent, he said, unlike some of the electronic voting machines that California decertified for security problems.

People who attend the conference will vote by scanning a bar code on their badges, then selecting a candidate from a computer screen. When they’re done, they will print their ballots, which will include their bar codes. A separate machine can scan the bar codes and read their votes back to them if they choose.

Votes can be audited in several ways – by manually counting the ballots, scanning the bar codes, or processing pictures of the ballots to see if the text on each ballot matches its bar code.

The article goes on to say that this particular could be certified and ready to roll in real (not mock) elections by 2010. I’m down in Los Angeles now and will be next week, and might try and make it up for LinuxWorld if I have the time. This sounds pretty cool.

Click here for a look at our past coverage of electronic voting, including an interview with a Princeton professor, the Mayor of Philly and 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?