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Frequently Asked Questions
You Ask, We Answer
Why do we vote on Tuesday?
Absolutely no good reason whatsoever. Not joking. Longer answer here and in the video below.
Who is behind Why Tuesday?
The group was founded by Bill Wachtel, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Congressional scholar Norman J. Ornstein in 2005, on the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Meet our full team and read our full story here.
Where does the United States of America rank globally in voter turnout?
The United States ranks 138th of 172 nations in voter turnout. 47.7% on average since 1945. (International IDEA)
Where does the United States of America rank in voter turnout amongst the Group of 8 peer economies?
The U.S. ranks dead last in voter turnout amongst the G8. And 5 of the G8 countries with higher voter turnout than the U.S. vote on the weekend.
What are some of the countries that vote on the weekend and what is their voter turnout?
Countries that vote on weekends with greater turnout than the U.S. include France (67.3%), Germany (80.2%), Thailand (82.1%), Russia (56.6%), Japan (68.7%).
Who else votes at a higher turnout rate than us?
Just about everybody. Some of the other nations that vote at a higher rate than the United States: Italy (92%), New Zeland (86%), Canada (82.6%), Greece (80.8%), Israel (73.8%), Costa Rica (68.1%), India (61.55), Jamaica (58.6%), Mexico (48.1%).
How do you know Tuesday is the reason people don’t vote?
It’s not the only reason, but it’s a big one. U.S. Census data has long indicated the #1 reason voters gave for not making it out to the polls was “too busy/couldn’t get time off to vote.” In 2010, 27% of nonvoters gave this answer.
Wouldn’t it take a Constitutional Amendment to move Election Day from Tuesday to the weekend?
Nope. Just a bill from Congress, and the President’s signature. In fact, the bill exists. The Weekend Voting Act has been introduced to Congress several times, including in 2012.
So many states have early voting today, so why do we need weekend voting?
35 states have some form of early voting option, like no-excuse absentee voting or in-person early voting. But 15 states with millions of voters still only have Tuesday voting as an option. In these Tuesday-or-bust states, if you don’t make it to the polls during the hours they are open you cannot vote.
The U.S. GAO released a report about Weekend Voting. And it was inconclusive. What say you?
A few things. For one, the cost to our democracy is far higher to have chronic low voter turnout than a modest increase in the monetary cost of administering elections. As the GAO found out, there are so few comparable examples to look to in the United States because of how backwards our voting system is. That said, In the 2012 presidential primary elections, South Carolina and Louisiana both voted on the weekend, and had record voter participation. We also often point out that one of the best comparisons to make is with the literally scores of countries around the world that have a higher turnout rate than we do and vote on the weekend, something the study skips entirely.
What do our politicians say about moving Election Day to the weekend?
Of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates, Mitt Romney isn’t into the idea, nor is Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum is open to the idea.
We also talked with almost all of the 2008 presidential candidates, including Obama, Clinton, McCain and Huckabee, who are all open to the idea.
You can read quotes by and watch video of all of the elected officials we’ve talked to about Weekend Voting.
Man, all these about voting are super boring. Can’t you make an infographic?
How can I help?
Sign our petition now asking Congress and the President to support the Weekend Voting Act.
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
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
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Posted by Steve Kapitan on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?