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‘Why do we vote on Tuesday?’ Category

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Greetings, TEDsters!

WT? at TED

I gave a talk this week at TEDActive in Palm Springs about “THE POWER OF WHY?” and how we and the folks at Why Tuesday? San Francisco use the simple question as we push to affect change in our voting system. That’s a picture of my talk above.

If you were at TEDActive and are interested in seeing more of the video I previewed during my talk, you can find it here. For more about Why Tuesday? click here. And stay tuned, I hope I’ll have my entire talk to post here soon.

Photo of my TEDYou talk via Christian Long.

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Our Story

Why do we vote on Tuesday? By asking that simple and straightforward question that few knew the answer to and most, even our nation’s leaders, had never even thought of, five years ago we set out to raise awareness about America’s low voter turnout and the broken state of our voting system. With another presidential election underway, we want to recruit you in the war on low voter participation. For starters, you can sign our petition in support of Weekend Voting.

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

On Civil Rights and Weekend Voting

Ambassador Andrew Young, co-founder of Why Tuesday?, is a former U.S. Congressman and mayor of Atlanta. This op-ed originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Ambassador Andrew YoungLast week, American voters swept in a new crop of leaders, and once again brought change to Washington, DC. What has not changed, however, is the precariously low voter participation in our nation. This year barely more than 40 percent of eligible Americans voted, while more than a third of those who voted in 2008 stayed home. Our country should follow in the footsteps of the citizens of San Francisco, who voted to remove one of the biggest causes of low voter participation: voting on Tuesdays. The history of the civil rights movement deserves as much. Let me explain.

Forty-five years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson put on his coat, took his daughters by the hand, and went to the Capitol for a historic event that was his happiest day as an American — signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As he sat with fountain pen in hand, surrounded by an unusual group of allies, from Everett Dirksen to Martin Luther King, LBJ made a prediction: “And every family across this great entire searching land will live stronger in liberty, will live more splendid in expectation, and will be prouder to be American because of the act that you have passed that I will sign today.”

The Voting Rights Act made a huge difference in peoples’ lives, confirming everyone’s right to vote — but that did not mean that those having the right would fulfill it by going to the voting booth. Sadly, “that short step into the voting booth and the greatest step for society” as Martin would herald, has gotten longer and longer, not shorter and shorter. Since 1968, the turnout of American voters in federal elections has gone down every single time save once. And now our nation ranks 139 out of 172 countries worldwide in voter turnout and dead last among the G8. The problem certainly isn’t the lack of resources; more money is spent in American elections by far than anywhere in the world. This year alone over $4 billion dollars will be spent hoping that 40,000,000 votes will be cast. That’s $100 per vote. How can we, the nation that created and nurtured modern democratic principles, expect other countries to see us as a model when we are such laggards in voter participation? (more…)

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Rep. Ellison (DFL-MN) Likes Weekend Voting!

NEW YORK, NY – Check out the first Get Out the Why video submission! Jacob Wheeler caught up with Representative Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) to ask why we vote on Tuesday?

Although Rep. Ellison supports moving Election Day to the weekend, he did not know the answer. In all fairness to the Congressman, most people have no idea why Election Day is on Tuesday.

Some background. Rep. Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. He is a member of Minnesota’s Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. When Rep. Ellison took office in 2007, he became the first muslim to be elected to the United States Congress and the first African-American elected to the House from Minnesota.

Thank you for the great video, Jacob Wheeler! Keep asking the tough questions!

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Fixing Our Voting System In The WSJ


There’s a write-up by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries of our 140 Character Conference panel “Fixing Our Voting System One Tweet At A Time” on the Wall Street Journal’s website. She focuses on the theme of our panel, that there are ways social media can be used to increase and protect voter participation.

The use of Twitter as a vote-monitoring tool might have gained the most attention during the dramatic protests in Iran last year, but election experts in the U.S. say there are plenty of ways to use the service to improve voting in this country as well.

A fast-moving service such as Twitter can be the best way to get information about what is going on during elections, because it’s easier to access and doesn’t get tied up the way phone lines can, said California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. She said she has used the service to monitor what is happening in her state during elections, whether it’s a potential election-law problem or something less dire, such as the status of lines. “With 24,000 polling places, somebody is going to oversleep and forget the key” — and Twitter can help get out the message that these inevitable problems shouldn’t discourage people from voting, Ms. Bowen said at a Twitter confab called the 140 Character Conference, which gets its name from the number of characters allowed in tweets.

“This is something we can do without running to the lawyers on election day,” said Nancy Scola, an associate editor at techPresident, a blog that focuses on how campaigns are using the Web. “A lot of problems can be solved by people making noise” and can be resolved by open communication rather than election lawsuits, she said.

But the use of technologies like Twitter to encourage voter participation in the U.S. raises questions because not everyone has access to this type of service, and election watchers who use it are seeing only a small, savvy part of the population. “What does it mean when those of us with certain privileges and skills are online?” asked Andy Carvin, a senior strategist at National Public Radio.

For the complete article, click here.

For the video of our panel, click here.

Photo of WSJ via CAIVP on Flickr.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

From the CSPAN Archives

Today CSPAN launched a searchable online archive of video of all of their programs since 1987. Here’s the video of Why Tuesday? co-founder and board member Ambassador Andrew Young announcing the launch of our group in 2005, on the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which he help author.

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

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...

Posted by John on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

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?