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‘Why do we vote on Tuesday?’ Category

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…)

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Why Tuesday? At 140Conf L.A.


Greetings to those of you finding your way here by way of the 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) at the Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscars and if you’re not new here, our video coverage of the 2007 CNN Democratic Debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in Los Angeles. I’m speaking today at 3:35PM PT on the panel Hollywood Politics: The Making of a Twitter Cause Celeb. My co-panelists are Wendy Cohen from Participant Media and Ted Johnson from Variety, and it’s being moderated by blogger Meagan Carberry.

First thing’s first, I hope you’re already interacting with me via Why Tuesday? on Twitter. If you’re not, please start now.

For those of you that have no idea what the #140conf is, here are some details:

At the #140conf events, we look at twitter as a platform and as a language we speak. Over time it will neither be the only platform nor the only language. #140conf is not an event about microblogging or the place where people share twitter “tips and techniques” but rather where we explore the effects of the emerging real-time Internet on Business.

The original scope of #140conf was to explore “the effects of twitter on: Celebrity, “The Media”, Advertising and (maybe) Politics.” Over time the scope expanded to include Sports, Music, The Arts, Sciences and more. Given the location of #140conf:LA, this event will have a special focus on the use of twitter in the Entertainment Industry.

American voter participation ranks near the bottom of all countries in the world. Why Tuesday? was founded in 2005 to honor the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and make the state of America’s voting system an issue our elected officials cannot afford to avoid. In 2006, our co-founder Bill Wachtel started the Get Out The Why? contest, seizing on the emergence of YouTube in the political scene to put candidates and elected officials on the spot about election reform by asking them one simple question: why do we vote on Tuesday, smack in the middle of the work week?

That’s how I got involved with Why Tuesday?, and after meeting with Bill, we decided to go a step further and make Why Tuesday? not just a 501(c)3 that advocates a dialogue about election reform, but one that forces the issue by using social media. We put our heads together with Joe Trippi, who linked us up with the folks at Echo Ditto and Jim Brayton. On September 25th, 2007, we relaunched the website based around the Why Tuesday? Candidate Challenge. We set out to get every 2008 presidential candidate on the record, on video, about voting in America, and we did (including President Obama and Senator McCain).

From the moment we relaunched the site, Twitter was a part of our platform. At first we weren’t sure how to use it, but looking back, it provided a memorable scrapbook of the 2008 campaign and as Twitter developed, so did our use of it. I tweeted before and my interview with President Obama at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and from a horse-drawn carriage outside the ABC News debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.

As the campaign progressed, we joined forces with a major coalition of nonprofits and news organizations to be a part of the Twitter Vote Report, a tool designed specifically to find voting hot spots on Election Day. This complimented nicely our participation in Video Your Vote, on which we partnered with PBS and YouTube to create the largest library of polling place video ever. Every video was marked on a map, and the highlights were aired on PBS on Election Day. Perhaps this year, the two efforts can combine. One thing is for sure, there’s lots of room for improvement in our voting system, and coverage of it, and Twitter will certainly be a part.

Photo of the Kodak Theater via patrick kiteley on Flickr.

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…)

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Final Jeopardy: What Is Election Day?


Friday night, on Jeopardy show #5735, Alex Trebek announced the category for “Final Jeopardy,” and it was “The Calendar.”

The clue: This U.S. event was set after the harvest, on a day when rural folk could get there without having to travel on Sunday.

The correct response, which only contestant Kathleen could come up with: What is Election Day?

Alyssa and Peter, the two other contestants, guessed Thanksgiving. That’s not the full reason we vote on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. For all of the details, click here to find out.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Voting Rights Act Scaled Back

Why Tuesday? was founded on the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for which our board member Ambassador Andrew Young fought for along side Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today the New York Times reports that the Supreme Court ruled that the reach of the Voting Rights Act was not as vast as the North Carolina General Assembly believed.


Over on Twitter, people are talking about the Supreme Court’s decision.

Previously in the NYT:
Uphold the Voting Rights Act
Why Tuesday? New York Times Op-Ed: Everyone’s Voting For The Weekend

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Fixing Our Voting System, One Tweet At A Time

Why Tuesday? on Twitter

We’ve had a Twitter feed on the site since we relaunched it September 25, 2007. Since then, Twitter has exploded and we talk with as many of you there as we do on YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. You guys pushed us to success in the MySpace IMPACT Awards, Webby Awards and 10Questions. So we just wanted to let you know we’re tweeting – from all kinds of crazy places – as we work to find solutions to increase voter participation. Click to join us.

Why Tuesday? on Twitter

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?