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‘Early voting’ Category

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Debating Benefits of Early Voting

Early Voting Sign

A conversation about early voting is playing out in the New York Times this week. It started Monday, when chief political correspondent Jeff Zeleny reported that early voting is changing the way political campaigns are waged across the United States, if not voter participation.

The calendar may still say September, but people can begin casting their ballots on Tuesday in Ohio. Voting is already under way in Georgia, Iowa and four other states, with Arizona, California and Illinois set to start in the next two weeks.

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While people in New York must have an excuse to vote before Election Day, which is why only 5 percent cast absentee ballots in the presidential race two years ago, most states no longer have that restriction. Voting alternatives range from a pure mail-in ballot in Oregon to a three-week period of balloting in Florida, Texas and Nevada.

Early voting has hardly driven all eligible citizens to vote. Turnout has increased only slightly since 2005 when many states began making voting more convenient. But it has made it far easier for campaigns to find voters who would be likely to be supportive if they could get them to the polling place. And with 70 percent of Americans now able to take advantage of no-excuse early and absentee voting, the trend is permanent.

“It’s not going to represent a seismic shift in the number of people voting,” said Dan Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor who studies early voting and election law. “The convenience of voting is a factor, but it’s not the major reason that people don’t show up to vote.”

Today, the Times has posted an online back-and-forth between columnists Gail Collins and David Brooks about what they see as the downside to early voting: voters may cast a ballot too early, before a big development in the campaign that may cause them to want to take back their vote. (more…)

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Nearly One Third Of Voters Voted Early

Early Voting

Yesterday Professor Michael McDonald of George Mason University posted this interesting fact on his website: “30% of all votes were cast prior to Election Day, November 4, 2008.” Pretty amazing, right? This is up from 20% in 2004 and 7% in 2000, according to McDonald.

What does this all mean? Perhaps that folks don’t want to vote on Tuesday, smack in the middle of the work week, when presented with the option. That said, not all states allow no-excuse absentee or early voting, and in those states, it’s Tuesday or bust.

Need a reminder of why we still vote on Tuesday in the United States? You’ll find it here.

Hat tip to Why Tuesday? Advisory Board member Jim Brayton for the link. Photo of early voting sign via MY PINK SOAPBOX – BY ANAHI DECANIO on Flickr.

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Talking North Dakota Voting on NPR

Burleigh County, ND

This morning on NPR Weekend Edition I talked about (as I vlogged about earlier) how voters need not register in North Dakota. Listen to my conversation with host Liane Hansen by clicking here.

While you’re at it, NPR’s Robert Siegel and Professor Paul Gronke of Reed College in Oregon discussed the evolution of the American voting system (including Siegel talking about why we vote on Tuesday) on All Things Considered this past Friday. Listen to their conversation by clicking here.

Photo of Burleigh County, ND seal by me via Why Tuesday? on Flickr.

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

For Election Day, An Online To-Do List

You can’t vote online quite yet in the United States, but you sure can do lots of other fun stuff online for Election Day. We’re partnering with a ton of groups on three great projects to make sure you are as plugged in as possible on Election Day. Here’s a recap.

1) Video Your Vote is an initiative from PBS and YouTube that aims to create the largest library of polling place video ever. Whether you vote early, absentee or on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, video your vote!

Video Your Vote

2) EPWiki comes from the Center for Media and democracy, and we’re partnering with them so you can track voter suppression, voting machine problems and election day mischief on an easy-to-use wiki. You can find it easliy by clicking the “EPWiki” tab at the top of this page.

EPWIKI

3) Twitter Vote Report is “an all-volunteer network of software developers, designers, and other collaborators have teamed up with the award-winning blog techPresident to launch this effort. The only resources contributed to this project are the participants’ time and expertise!” You can tweet each and every minute of your Election Day experience, so do it!

Twitter Vote Report

Still don’t know why we vote on Tuesday? Click here for the answer.

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Texas-Sized Early Voting Turnout

Welcome KTRH morning news listeners in Houston! Even up here in the Big Apple we say everything is bigger in Texas. Well, perhaps not the skyscrapers. And yet, when it comes to early voting that certainly is true.

Moreover, in 2004 over 2.4 million Texans or nearly 30% of voting eligible population voted early. So far in 2008, over 2 million Texans have voted early, quickly approaching 25% of the vote eligible population – and there are still 2 days of early voting left. By all accounts, Texas’ 2004 record early voting turnout will be shattered this year. Look here at Galveston County turnout numbers and Lubbock turnout, for example. (more…)

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…)

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?