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‘Norm Ornstein’ Category

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Weekend Voting, Not Election Holiday

Everyone loves holidays. A day off from work, often a three-day weekend to travel or relax – who wouldn’t appreciate that? But holidays recognized by the government are also costly. Millions of people taking another day off from work sharply reduces productivity in the country. And, like monuments on the National Mall, there are real limits to the number one can have, and each one needs to go through a thorough and careful vetting process, so that future generations can have room or times to honor other leaders or events.

At one level, as a longtime and strong proponent of making voting easier for all Americans who are eligible, I would love to make Election Day a holiday. Far too many working people are hamstrung on Tuesday; they can vote only before or after work, when the lines are especially long and when people whose livelihoods depend on getting to work on time and getting the hourly pay cannot afford to wait for an hour or more. But adding an Election Day holiday is simply too costly.

Read the rest of Norm Ornstein’s op-ed at The New York Times’ Room For Debate site.

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It Pays To Vote, Maybe

Our board member Norm Ornstein in The Atlantic, on his favorite idea for increasing America’s dismal voter turnout:

My favorite incentive approach is a “Mega Millions lottery,” where one’s voting receipt is also one’s lottery ticket. The lure of a major prize could and would motivate people to vote, the same way the multimillion dollar Mega Millions prize in 2012 motivated many to stand in line for hours for a chance to buy a lottery ticket that gave a one-in-176-million chance to become a multimillionaire. A lottery could increase turnout dramatically and overnight, and is a model that could be employed at all levels (say, a chance to win a car donated by a local dealer for a local election).

What do you think?

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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?