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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Weekend Voting Coming To San Fran

SF Weekend Voting

There were lots of election returns to pay attention to last night, but there was one in particular we had our eye on. “Proposition I” in San Francisco, also known as the “Saturday Voting Act,” passed, establishing a Saturday Election Day in addition to the traditional Tuesday one for the November 2011 general election there. According to the data, voters there cast their ballots overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition.

I – Polling places open on the Saturday before the November 2011 election

590 of 590 precincts reporting

• YES 92,158
• NO 63,949

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg endorsed the idea last week and encouraged the voters of San Francisco to make their city a national leader on the issue of election reform. The Saturday Election Day will take place if the money is raised privately to fund the endeavor. Proposition I was pushed by Why Tuesday? San Francisco, a local movement inspired by our work nationally.

Illustration of San Francisco voting on Saturday via Why Tuesday? San Francisco.

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Bloomberg: Thumbs Up To San Fran Weekend Voting

Bloomberg Voting

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today added another election reform endorsement to his growing list. The mayor is supporting the San Fransisco effort to implement weekend voting inspired by Why Tuesday? and our work around the country. Below is the full press release we sent out with details about Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement.

NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG ENDORSES SAN FRANSISCO “SATURDAY VOTING ACT”

Endorsement Follows Bloomberg’s Earlier Support Of National “Weekend Voting Act”

“Proposition I” Is On The November 2nd Ballot

SAN FRANCISCO – New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is lending his name to an effort to increase voter turnout by making it easier for voters to get to the polls. Mayor Bloomberg today endorsed San Francisco’s Proposition I, known as the “Saturday Voting Act.” If Proposition I passes on November 2nd, it would require San Francisco to open all polling places on the Saturday before the November 2011 election, in addition to the traditional Tuesday Election Day. The Saturday Election Day would be funded by private donations, all of which would be made public on the Department of Elections website. San Francisco’s “Saturday Voting Act” was inspired by the work nationally of WhyTuesday.org a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) committed to increasing American voter turnout.

Mayor Bloomberg has long been a supporter of national election reforms. In September 2009, Mayor Bloomberg announced his “Easy to Vote, Easy to Run” national election reform plan. In it the Mayor called on Congress to pass the Weekend Voting Act, sponsored by Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and Congressman Steve Israel of Long Island, which seeks to shift national Election Day from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday. In polls and in United States Census data, the majority of voters who failed to vote blamed the inconvenience of Election Day.

“Voters in San Francisco have a great opportunity this Election Day to be national leaders on an issue that a growing number of Democrats, Republicans, and independents are all supporting: weekend voting,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “By passing the Saturday Voting Act, San Francisco voters will become the first major city in the country to allow voters to cast their ballots in municipal elections on the weekend. I support bringing weekend voting to New York City, and I look forward to working with local civic and community leaders to develop our own weekend voting proposal. Voter participation is crucial to a healthy democracy. By giving busy voters more opportunities to cast their ballots, we can help increase participation. And San Francisco voters would still have the option of voting on the traditional Tuesday Election Day. Weekend voting is an idea whose time has come – and San Francisco can help lead the way.”

“If we really want to increase access to the democratic process, especially for working families and single parents, we should do what the rest of the world does and vote on the weekend,” said Alex Tourk, founder of WhyTuesdaySF.org. “I just think it’s the right thing to do, and it’s an honor that leaders like Mayor Bloomberg are joining this effort and drawing attention to the fact that holding elections mid-week, when the working class has the most obligations, is a good indication that our electoral system is antiquated.”

“We are thrilled Mayor Bloomberg continues to act as a megaphone for increasing America’s dismally low voter participation,” said Jacob Soboroff, executive director of WhyTuesday.org. “The Mayor’s commitment to making election reform an issue our national and local leaders cannot afford to avoid is a quality too few of our elected representatives share today.”

ABOUT WHY TUESDAY?

Why Tuesday? is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization founded in 2005 to raise awareness about the state of America’s voting system and to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections. Using Web 2.0 technology, Why Tuesday? provides a platform for national dialogue about the current voting system, problems with our current voting system, and solutions that can directly improve the voting process, increase registration and drive turnout. The Why Tuesday? documentary video blog has been seen millions of times across multiple online and traditional media platforms, including national news outlets. Why Tuesday? was the recipient of the Film Your Issue Award as well as being the only non-mainstream news outlet nominated for the 2008 Webby Award for Best Political Blog.

Photo of Mayor Bloomberg voting via LIFE.

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Saturday Voting In San Fran Gets A Boost

San Fran Election Day

Citizens of San Francisco are one step closer to having elections over the weekend. The Saturday Voting Act Ordinance received the required amount of signatures and will be placed on the ballot for voters to say whether or not this idea becomes reality. The San Francisco Examiner has the details:

Ordinances require 7,168 signatures from registered San Francisco voters to make it onto the ballot.

If approved, the first time Saturday voting would occur would be for the November 2011 election, when voters will elect San Francisco’s next mayor.

Alex Tourk, a lobbyist and head of Ground Floors Public Affairs, is the official proponent of the proposed ballot measure.

“San Francisco residents deserve a voting system which corresponds to the schedules and lifestyles of working families. Allowing voting on Saturday would encourage parents to involve their children in the democratic process,” the ordinance says. The measure refers to a nationwide movement known as “Why Tuesday?”

How it would work is the Department of Elections would open up about 400 polling stations throughout The City for voting to occur the Saturday before the election day that occurs on Tuesday.

The measure says Saturday voting would increase voter turnout and make voting more accessible to families. If the pilot program is proven effective, then the measure urges the mayor and Board of Supervisors to figure out how to implement and pay for Saturday voting for future elections.

For more information on the campaign, visit Why Tuesday? San Francisco.

Photo of 2008 Election Day in San Fran by maneo on Flickr.

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

SF Chronicle Supports Weekend Voting

SF Chronicle Building

The San Francisco Chronicle gave our efforts, and those of our friends in the Why Tuesday? San Francisco movement, their vote of confidence recently in this editorial.

A midweek election day made perfect sense in this nation’s agrarian past. Today, Tuesday voting is an anachronism that contributes to abysmal turnout rates, even in a political hotbed such as San Francisco.

As one of the city’s top political consultants, Alex Tourk knows all about the struggle to get voters to the polls. He is initiating a campaign to peel away one more excuse for not voting by adding Saturday as an election day. His proposed ballot measure would provide the first test of the national “Why Tuesday?” movement’s theory that weekend voting would bring more citizens to the polls – and produce the atmosphere of civic engagement that pervades election days in other nations that vote on the weekend.

If San Francisco voters approve this experiment – signatures are now being collected to put it on the November ballot – Saturday voting would be tried in the November 2011 city election. The extra cost would be covered by private donations.

It’s a worthy experiment in democracy. To learn more about the effort, or to request a petition, go to www.whytuesdaysf.org.

Photo of SF Chronicle Building via Flickr.

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?