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Friday, November 13th, 2009

Increasingly Low Turnout, Increasingly More Often

Photo of Mayor Bloomberg on Election Day

NEW YORK, NY – On Tuesday November 3rd, a minority of New Yorkers ventured to the polls to cast their ballots. There were more than a handful of elected posts up for grab, most notably Mayor, City Comptroller, Public Advocate and District Attorney. Much was at stake in these elections, not only in the City, but also in Virginia and New Jersey. Be it a weak economic outlook, increasing unemployment, health care, gun control, education, gay rights or a slew of other imperative issues, City voters by-and-large decided to stay quiet, stay home, and not vote. (more…)

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Election Reform Plan

Mayor Bloomberg Votes Election Reform

If New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has his way Americans would be automatically registered to vote, they would be voting on the weekend, and it would be easier to gain access to the ballot if you wanted to run for office in New York City.

Today Mayor Bloomberg announced his “Easy to Vote & Easy to Run” election reform plan which includes an endorsement of Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Herb Kohl’s Weekend Voting Act, a piece of legislation that we’ve talked a lot about here. The data-friendly mayor also wants to create a Democracy Index in New York City to help target, as he has done with the 3-1-1 system in New York City, problem voting areas throughout New York’s five boroughs.

Why Tuesday? board member Norman J. Ornstein is quoted in Mayor Bloomberg’s press release announcing his plan, saying “this set of reforms is a huge step forward to making the voting system work and revitalizing democracy in New York. It should serve as a model for elections across the country.” The Mayor’s complete press release is below. (more…)

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Lever Voting, The NYT, and Twitter

NYT Lever Voting Picture

Props to New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee for using Twitter to follow up on a cool voting machines story.

On May 24th I noticed her article about New York’s “love affair” with lever voting machines. New York is the only state in the Union to still use this technology, and Lee’s article outlined the debate over whether or not keeping the machines around is a good or a bad thing. But one thing was left unresolved in her article: which counties in New York would be ditching the machines in favor of optical-scan systems. So I sent her a tweet to see if she had an update.

@WhyTuesday? to @jenny8lee

A few days later, I also tweeted her with an article saying that 16 counties were losing lever voting.

@WhyTuesday to @jenny8lee #2

Ah, the power of Twitter. The next day, Lee tweeted me back saying my tweet had inspired her to do an update to her story to see what New York City’s plans were!

Jenny 8. Lee Response

The update was that New York City was resisting New York State’s push for an optical-scan pilot program and would be sticking with the lever voting machines. The reasoning?

“Participation in the pilot program proposed by the State Board of Elections is not authorized by state law,” said Gregory C. Soumas, the Democratic elections board commissioner for Manhattan. “Any expenditures for voting systems incurred pursuant to the state board’s pilot program are not authorized by law.”

You can tweet with us too. Follow Why Tuesday? on Twitter by clicking here.

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

President-Elect Obama On Our Voting System

Obama votes

This past week, Senator Herb Kohl (WI) and Representative Steve Israel (NY) introduced the Weekend Voting Act in Congress in an attempt to increase America’s voter participation. Despite unparalleled enthusiasm about the 2008 campaign, nearly 40% of Americans sat idle, at home, away from the voting booth, and American voter participation ranks near the bottom of all countries in the world!

So what might President-Elect Obama say about the idea of a Weekend Voting Act? Below, in his own words, is the President-Elect on the state of America’s voting system. I spoke with the President-Elect when he was still Senator Obama, in 2007, at the MTV/MySpace Presidential Dialogue at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Well, couple things. Number one, I think we have to make it easier to vote. And I’m assuming that “Why Tuesday?” is for in favor of, for example, having it one weekends so that more people can vote. Same-day registration I think in a lot of states has shown to make sense. You know, early voting is another way to encourage people and make it more convenient for them to vote. But I think that, more than that, we also have to change what people are voting for. And if we don’t have serious campaign finance reform legislation, if we are not restricting the power of lobbyists and special interests to determine what the agenda is in Washington then people are going to get discouraged and no matter how easy you make it for them to participate they won’t participate.

To watch the video of my interview with President-Elect Obama, click here.

Still don’t know why we vote on Tuesday? Here’s the answer.

Photo of Democratic Presidential Nominee, Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle voting in Chicago, IL on election day by David Katz of Obama for America via Flickr.

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Why Tuesday? in Newsday *

Newsday

As I just Tweeted, Newsday is running this article today about U.S. Rep. Steve Israel’s gig as a Why Tuesday? Correspondent and his work to push the Weekend Voting Act, which he introduced. On that note, Doug Chapin of ElectionLine.org says in the article he doesn’t think changing Election Day is going to help voter participation.

“Tuesday has history and inertia on its side,” said Chapin. “Changing it is more trouble than leaving it where it is.”

With the article, Newsday is running some exclusive video we provided them of Rep. Israel’s interview with Rep. Gary Ackerman, of New York, like Israel.

* UPDATE: Please see the comment from Doug Chapin of electionline.org for a clarification.

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

U.S. Rep. Becomes Why Tuesday? Correspondent

U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) and I sat down yesterday in Washington, D.C., and he soon thereafter became the first member of Congress to report as a Why Tuesday? correspondent! Watch the video for our chat, and his report. (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?