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‘Why do we vote on Tuesday?’ Category

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

FOX News Was Here

Right now on the front page of FOXNews.com there’s a story by Judson Berger based in part on the blog post I wrote yesterday about the Obama campaign’s call to off take work or school on Election Day. A screen cap is below.


Berger speculates that Obama’s ad “might help rekindle a debate over whether Election Day should be made a national holiday or moved to the weekend as a way to boost voter participation.” Even so, he didn’t have much luck getting an answer from either campaign about the candidates positions on our voting system.

Neither Obama’s nor McCain’s campaigns would comment on whether the nominees actually support holding Election Day on a holiday or weekend.

Not to worry. During the primary election cycle, I spoke with both Senators Obama and McCain about their feelings about our voting system, and what they think we can do to increase voter participation. Click here for my interview with Senator Obama. Click here for my interview with Senator McCain.

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Obama Pushes Election Day Holiday (Of Sorts)

I’ve talked with both Senator Obama and Senator McCain about what they think we can do to increase voter participation, including the idea of an Election Day holiday or perhaps Weekend Voting. To see what Senator McCain had to say to me in Manchester, NH click here. You can watch my conversation with Senator Obama in Cedar Rapids, IA here.

The Obama campaign is following in the footsteps of those calling for a pseudo Election Day holiday this November 4th. They are encouraging folks to ask for this Tuesday after the first Monday in November off work or school in order to have time to vote. Whomever you’re going to vote for, take a look at this video. If you’re going to be busy next Tuesday, you may want to take this advice.

In 14 states, if you can’t make it to the polls on Tuesday, and you don’t have an excuse to get an absentee ballot, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Still confused about why we vote on Tuesday? Click here for the answer.

Hat tip to Trey Ditto for tweeting the video.

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Weekend Voting? Mos Def!

If you were President, what would you do? Well, our friends at GOOD/Video are asking exactly that. If you are one of millions of Americans who would like voting to be more convenient, and you don’t understand why we vote on Tuesday, you are not alone. To find out why, click here.

Check out Mos Def’s response to GOOD/Video when they asked him. At the 1:41 mark, Mos exclaims that folks should vote on the weekend. Right on!

Friday, October 24th, 2008

George Stephanopoulos Likes Weekend Voting Too!


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.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Why Tuesday? in TIME Magazine


Make sure to pick up the Election Week edition of TIME Magazine. Managing Editor Richard Stengel gives us a shout-out in his article “Closing In on Election Day.” Here’s the relevant excerpt:

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, we will be selecting our next President. Here’s my question: Why Tuesday? If your answer was, Because that’s the way we’ve always done it, you’d be right. We’ve been doing it that way since 1845, and the murky reasons for it are that nobody wanted to vote on the Sabbath and voters needed time to travel by horse and buggy. But I’ve long thought–as have many others–that holding an election on a workday is undemocratic and makes it difficult for people to fulfill their signal act of civic participation. Either change it to Saturday, or make Election Day a holiday.

The fact that so many states now allow early voting or no-fault absentee voting is a good thing. But as a nation that is the beacon of democracy, we sure make it hard for people to participate. The American registration system is far more local and decentralized than that of almost any other Western democracy, and we pay a price for it. As Michael Scherer’s story points out, on Nov. 4 a host of problems could arise from issues such as inaccurate registration databases, badly designed ballots and confusing rules. While those problems may not be determinative or alter the result, they could, and the fact that we allocated nearly $3 billion through the Help America Vote Act in the past six years without much improving the system is a scandal. Both Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and Representative Steve Israel of New York have introduced a Weekend Voting Act, and you can find out more about these issues at WhyTuesday.org and FairVote.org.

For the full article, click here.

Read the complete explanation of why we vote on Tuesday over here.

If you’re new here, 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. Make a tax-deductible donation to us by clicking “donate” on any page on our website.

Previously: Why Tuesday? in TIMEā€¦ kinda

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Videoing Our Votes!

Last week we announced our partnership with YouTube and PBS for the Video Your Vote initiative. I’m happy to report that I was able to video my own (early) vote yesterday in Norwalk, CA at the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office alongside the star of our “famous” PSA. You can video YOUR vote by logging on to YouTube. (more…)

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?