Being here at the Citadel in Charleston for the CNN/YouTube debate has been an amazing experience! The fact that our question wasn’t chosen shows how important it is that we continue this conversation about reforming the way (and maybe day) we vote.
Even though America ranks 139 out of 172 countries in the world in voter turnout, and more people vote for American Idol than the U.S. president, tonight there was only one question on election reform and one candidate given time to answer. Not to worry. I’m headed up to the spin room with my camera to get some real answers.
Here’s the question we wanted the candidates to answer tonight:
Check back here soon for my video report from Charleston. It may be a day or so. I’m headed back to Why Tuesday? global headquarters in NYC tomorrow morning.
Lots of laughs in the press filing center at the debate’s open. Chris Dodd is answering the first question.
No election reform question yet.
* 7:30 PM: Half an hour into the debate. Still no sign of any election reform questions.
* 8:12 PM: Over half way there and still no election reform question for the candidates.
* 8:30 PM: First election reform question! From Melissa in California:
Only New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was given time to answer this question before a commercial break. I’ll get the transcript ASAP.
* Richardson’s response: Here are Richardson’s comments on election reform (as transcribed by CNN), the only comments on the topic during the entire debate:
I, as president, I would push the whole country to verified paper trails. There are close to 10 states that do this.
My state a year ago, my state was one of those states, along with Florida and Ohio, that, because of the touch-tones, there was uncertainty about the election.
We have close to 50 percent of those Americans eligible to vote voting. That is inexcusable, compared to many other nations. We need to have same-day registration. We need to have an effort to get the Republican Party to stop suppressing minority voters. We need to find ways also to depoliticize the Justice Department that tried to find those voters that were legitimately voting.
Why Tuesday? believes election reform is a nonpartisan issue. In our upcoming online documentary series we’ll take a closer look at the kinds of reforms Governor Richardson proposed during the debate, and more. Again, we are non-political and universal in our advocacy; Why Tuesday? welcomes community and national leaders, voters and non-voters, young and old, and members of all political parties (or none).
I just spent a minute talking with James Kotecki, “probably the world’s foremost expert on YouTube videos posted by presidential candidates,” according to the Economist. Here’s the photo, taken by his friend Emily who is featured in some of his many video blogs he’s uploading today from the debate.
Check out his YouTube page. Here’s to hoping that James starts asking the presidential candidates he interviews if they think our election system is broken, what they plan to do about it, and if they know why we vote on Tuesday.
Hey, it’s Jacob. Just arrived in South Carolina for the CNN/YouTube presidential debate which is taking place at the Citadel tomorrow night. I have no clue if our question will be picked but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that either way the candidates will spend some time talking about election reform. Even if the question isn’t picked, I’ll be in the spin room with my video camera for the post debate activities and will be sure to ask some tough questions.
Speak out: Don’t forget, we’re in the process of putting together a documentary video series about our broken election system that will launch in the fall and air at whytuesday.org. We want to hear your stories about adventures or misadventures at the polls, so drop us a line!
* Monday update: I’m at the Citadel in the press filing center. It’s quiet around here… for now.
This fall, Why Tuesday? is going to relaunch with a brand new interactive website, documentary video series and a new set of election issues to talk about. We want to include you and your stories in the series, so we set up this new homepage so you can get in touch with us.
Have you had an adventure or misadventure at the polls? Wondered why politics happens the way it does? Go to whytuesday.org and let us know about your personal experience with American democracy. Invite us to your town. We want to tell your story, as I explain in this video:
On a separate note: Keep your eyes peeled for our question during Monday’s CNN/YouTube debate. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
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...