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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Close… But No Answer

Yesterday President Barack Obama held a first-of-its-kind Presidential Google+ Hangout from the Roosevelt Room in the White House, answering questions from everyday Americans which receive thousands of views on YouTube and posed live to him in a cool back-and-forth video chat.

We submitted a question, asking President Obama if he’d support moving Election Day to the weekend to increase America’s historically terrible voter participation. Our submission was endorsed by, amongst hundreds of others, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Representative Steve Israel, and Why Tuesday? advisory board member Meghan McCain.

As the forum began a short clip from the question we recorded came on screen during the intro video, and you saw and heard me ask:

Why do we vote on Tuesday?

It was an exciting start to the forum, and some online noticed this, and tweeted as much. (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.

Monday, April 6th, 2009

For Indian Election Info, Google It

Google Indian Elections

For the 2008 United States presidential election, we teamed with YouTube and PBS to launch Video Your Vote, a program that intended to create the largest library of polling place Election Day video ever in order to help make voting as accessible, reliable and secure as possible (see the NYT article). It was a giant leap for the United States election community, where we can’t even register to vote online (except in Washington and Arizona). As we’ve discussed here before (see my video chat with Princeton professor Ed Felten), in Estonia, they’re already voting on the internet.

Now Google, YouTube’s parent company, is teaming up with some heavy hitters in India to bring vital election info to the people of India with their Lok Sabha Elections Center, the type of project that is much-needed here. I picked up this story via our advisory board member Tom Rossmeissl, who saw it on TechCrunch. (more…)

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

For Election Day, An Online To-Do List

You can’t vote online quite yet in the United States, but you sure can do lots of other fun stuff online for Election Day. We’re partnering with a ton of groups on three great projects to make sure you are as plugged in as possible on Election Day. Here’s a recap.

1) Video Your Vote is an initiative from PBS and YouTube that aims to create the largest library of polling place video ever. Whether you vote early, absentee or on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, video your vote!

Video Your Vote

2) EPWiki comes from the Center for Media and democracy, and we’re partnering with them so you can track voter suppression, voting machine problems and election day mischief on an easy-to-use wiki. You can find it easliy by clicking the “EPWiki” tab at the top of this page.


3) Twitter Vote Report is “an all-volunteer network of software developers, designers, and other collaborators have teamed up with the award-winning blog techPresident to launch this effort. The only resources contributed to this project are the participants’ time and expertise!” You can tweet each and every minute of your Election Day experience, so do it!

Twitter Vote Report

Still don’t know why we vote on Tuesday? Click here for the answer.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

In AZ, Video Your Vote! Then Watch ‘Em Count It

According to a local news outlet, Your Valley West, Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer took another leap towards making Election Day results in Arizona more transparent and accountable by installing multiple webcams inside all of the State’s vote tabulation rooms.

Arizona is one of two States that currently uses state-wide online voting registration system called EZVoter. The implementation of this system makes registering to vote much more convenient, and perhaps most important, allows interoperability between the States’ various databases rendering electronic voter rolls more accurate, more up-to-date, and more manageable by poll workers and election administrators. So, if you are living in Arizona, here is your suggested Election Day itinerary: (more…)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Video YOUR Vote!

We’re proud to partner with and announce Video Your Vote, a new initiative from YouTube and PBS that tasks YOU with documenting your Election Day experience. The goal here is to create the largest library of polling place video ever, in order to make our elections as reliable, accessible and secure as possible. We can only do it with your help! (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?