“Doctor, Doctor! My feet are killing me and there is something wrong with the way I vote,” said the patient who booked the appointment one week prior.
“Well you know Election Day is hard on your feet,” explained the podiatrist who thought to himself, “Why Tuesday?”.
Well, here is our answer, Doctor. And here is a brilliant piece of writing that ties visiting the Doctor and casting a vote together on Flavors of Abruzzo. Who woulda known that market day is still on Wednesday in Italy? Enjoy.
Visiting us from the Ocean State? Tonight (Moday), your secretary of state, Ralph Mollis, wants to hear from you at a forum in Warwick about election reform. He’s considering ten reforms, including moving election day to the weekend. That, and nine other reforms – including proof of residency requirements and a photo ID law (controversial in the past) – are after the jump. The details of the event are, too. (more…)
Well, we can add yetanothername to the list of 2008 presidential candidates that we’ve asked why we vote on Tuesday. We just got an e-mail from Harvard University senior Jake Levine, who was on the case last week, snagging two big-time interviews in the Boston area with Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Representative Barney Frank (D-MA). It turns out neither knows why we vote on Tuesday, but both like the idea of weekend voting.
Levine caught up with Obama as he was leaving a rally at the Boston University Agganis Arena. He e-mails that he had some camera phone technical difficulties during his Obama interview:
Unfortunately, the thing only takes 15 second videos at a time, and the sound is hard to pick up. This is what it missed: Obama thinks elections should be on a weekend. And he insists that they are traditionally held on Tuesdays because it is a state’s decision and each state has decided to be consistent with Tuesday.
Senator Obama raises an interesting question: what can individual states do to help increase voter turnout? Today 35 states allow people, without any explanation, to vote in-person or by mail over a wide variety of dates ranging from 15-31 days prior to the election. But the root of the problem, as you may know, is that we vote on Tuesday because of an 1845 federal law that was passed when 80% of Americans lived on farms. At the time it could often take a day or longer to get to the polls, and Congress did not want this travel to conflict with days of religious observance, which left Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday was market day. So: Tuesday.
In the second video, Congressman Frank says he has “no idea” why we vote on Tuesday, but his “intuitive answer [to the question] is let’s do it on the weekend.” Levine said this interview was a little easier to come by, and more intimate:
… there were none of the usual photographers, security, or nuisance that usually comes along with a high-profile speaker at the Kennedy School or other function. So it was easy in that sense to get ahold of the Congressman, and I think he was more than happy to talk.
Here at WT? we’re trying to start a national conversation about election reform. Voting is the right on which all others are based, and too few Americans are exercising that right. How can we do better? We think that moving Election Day from the middle of the week might be one answer. We’re trying to show that we ALL can and MUST bring our lawmakers and representatives – with whom these decisions ultimately rest – into the dialogue if we’re going to see a change. So join us and Get Out The Why!
Senator John Edwards, now running hard for the Democratic presidential nomination, visited UCLA today for a rally in Bruin Plaza. The Road Team’s own Jacob Soboroff had a chance to catch up with him afterwards on the Kerckhoff (sic) Patio. Jacob shouldered his way to the front of the press pool in time to be the second-to-last question Edwards answered; the presidential hopeful didn’t have a chance to really dive into the topic beyond a general affirmation of making Election Day a holiday, but with a little luck this won’t be the last time we get the opportunity to put some questions to him.
Regarding the soundtrack to this particular clip: please refer all questions to Jacob. We try to control him, but it’s very difficult.
America is going to be looking hard at a handful of politicians over the next year or so (unless some calendar-happy state moves its primaries up even further). We’re going to do our best- beginning humbly with this clip- to make sure that election reform is a part of the conversation the nation has with these candidates. An Executive Branch with a real commitment to election reform could set the tone for change, and a major campaign that addresses this issue might remind people to pay attention to something we tend to talk about AFTER elections rather than before them.
Please join us. If a candidate is coming to your town or school- pop the question, and ask them their thoughts on election reform. We all might be surprised by some of the answers we get.
Patrick, France is a post-Christian secular country. Relatively few of them attend church, and voting on Sunday does not interfere with their religious practices, because most of the population is not religious...