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Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Why Tuesday? Goes To Washington

U.S. Representative (and Why Tuesday? correspondent) Steve Israel, author of the Weekend Voting Act in the House, today made the case for Weekend Voting on the floor of the House of Representatives. Specifically, Rep. Israel was on the floor to discuss language he added to the financial services bill to direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study the feasibility of weekend voting.

Still don’t know why we vote on Tuesday? You can find the answer here.

Previously:
Rep. Israel and Why Tuesday? at Personal Democracy Forum
U.S. Rep. Becomes Why Tuesday? Correspondent
Weekend Voting Act Introduced!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Rep. Steve Israel: Why Tuesday? Correspondent

For those of you looking for the episode of our vlog with U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) after he mentioned it at the Personal Democracy Forum today, look no further. For a photo of yours truly with Rep. Israel from this afternoon at PDF09, see below (I’m at left, Rep. Israel is center, and Steve Grove of YouTube is at right).

Soboroff, Israel, Grove

For more photos from PDF, click here.

Previously:
U.S. Rep. Becomes Why Tuesday? Correspondent
Weekend Voting Act Introduced!

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.

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Weekend Voting Act Introduced!

U.S. Representative Steve Israel and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl yesterday introduced the Weekend Voting Act in the Senate and the House. In July, Rep. Israel became the first member of Congress to vlog for us (watch the video). In 2006, we met with Sen. Kohl and brought our video camera there, too. (more…)

Friday, November 7th, 2008

The Vote Is Over, So What’s Next?

NYT Photo

After having spent Election Day documenting the way folks cast ballots in North Dakota, the only state without voter registration, I was excited to read Ian Urbina’s article this morning in the New York Times about the future of the American voting system.

According to several reports, voter turnout, despite record highs in the primary election cycle, didn’t break any all-time percentage records for United States elections. Urbina focuses on two ways to increase voter participation and reduce problems on Election Day: universal voter registration and the expansion of early voting.

Many of the states that allowed early voting this year experienced few delays on Election Day, and now federal election officials, lawmakers and voting experts say people in every state should have the same privilege.

There is also increasing support for broadly expanding voter registration rolls, possibly by having the federal government require the states to make registration automatic for all eligible voters. Supporters say universal registration could reduce registration fraud and the confusion at the polls that results when voters are purged from the rolls.

Urbina’s article also explores the potential cleavages that might emerge as these types of election reforms arise, particularly between states and the federal government.

R. Doug Lewis, director of the National Association of Election Officials, a nonpartisan group that represents local and state election officials, said his members saw this as a “state’s rights issue” and were not thrilled about any possible federal takeover of registration or new laws that required early voting. But Mr. Lewis said they would support legislation that gave states incentives to help achieve these goals.

Most state election officials see the merit in early voting, Mr. Lewis said, and have become frustrated by dealing with voter registrations being submitted by third-party organizations, often in duplicate or with errors. He said state officials believed that they could do a better job than Washington in deciding how to keep the lists accurate and whether to expand them.

Another possible fix to reduce delays or problems on Election Day that didn’t make it into Urbina’s article is weekend voting or a National Election Day Holiday. In case you missed it, Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island and our board member Norman J. Ornstein penned this op-ed, which ran in the New York Times two weeks ago today about that possibility.

As a society that has been able to learn from our best and worst practices over the last 163 years, since Tuesday voting was set in 1845, we surely can do better at enhancing access to what Thomas Paine called the right by which all others are protected.

President-Elect Barack Obama shared with me his thoughts about the state of the American voting system, including his support for weekend voting, back during the primary election cycle. You can watch that interview here.

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

Photo by Isaac Brekken for The New York Times.

Friday, October 24th, 2008

George Stephanopoulos Likes Weekend Voting Too!

George

ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and “This Week” Host George Stephanopoulos saw our Op-Ed in The New York Times today, and liked it, or so he blogged. See below for his endorsement of Weekend Voting from “George’s Bottom Line.”

Let’s Go to Weekend Voting

October 24, 2008 9:58 AM

One third of likely voters say they’ll vote early, nearly double what it was eight years ago.

But we don’t yet know whether the surge in early voting is simply capturing people who are going to vote anyway or actually expanding the electorate.

In their New York Times op-ed today, Rep. Steve Israel, D-NY, and Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, call for weekend voting to increase the country’s voter turnout rate.

They argue Tuesday voting has depressed voter turnout rates in the US, and unfairly penalizes low-income voters who often choose between having to work and voting.

Israel is sponsoring a bill in the House of Representatives to scrap Tuesday voting and move to weekend voting on the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November.

I think Israel and Ornstein raise an important point here. Let’s go to weekend voting.

For more from Stephanopoulos, click here.

Photo of Stephanopoulos preparing for the ABC News Democratic Debate at the National Constitution Center by Why Tuesday? director of photography Thomas Macker.

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?