Why We Vote On Tuesday's

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Principessa, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Everybody’s Voting for the Weekend

    By STEVE ISRAEL and NORMAN J. ORNSTEIN
    Washington

    BY Nov. 4, more than $5 billion will have been spent trying to persuade voters to cast their presidential and congressional ballots one way or another. Despite all the money and the news media hysteria, and even with record numbers of Americans heading to the polls, the United States won’t even come close to the top nations in the world for voter turnout. We will be well behind — to name just a few — Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand.

    What do those countries, among many others, have in common? Their citizens all vote on a weekend day. But in the United States, for more than 150 years, we’ve voted on Tuesday. Why? It’s not in the Constitution. It isn’t to avoid holidays. And it’s not because people hate Mondays.

    The reason we vote on Tuesday makes perfect sense — at least it did in 1845.

    To understand the decision Congress made that year, let’s imagine ourselves as members of early agrarian American society. Saturday was for farming, Sunday was the Lord’s day, Monday was required for travel to the county seat where the polling places were, Tuesday you voted, Wednesday you returned home, and Thursday it was back to work.
    It’s a safe bet that today most Americans don’t follow the same schedule as our farming forefathers. In fact, for many, Tuesday is one of the most inconvenient days to hold an election. One in four people who didn’t vote in 2006 said that they were “too busy” or had “conflicting work or school schedules.”

    Legislation now before Congress would finally tailor our voting system to modern American life by establishing weekend voting for national elections. (Mr. Israel is sponsoring the bill in the House.) Here’s how it would work: The presidential election would be held on the Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November, while for those who aren’t often home on the weekends, there would be a few days of early voting.

    Our current system penalizes single parents, people working two jobs, and those who have to choose between getting a paycheck and casting a ballot. Two weekend days of voting means those working families would have a greater chance of making it to the polls. It means easing the long lines during rush hour at the polling sites. It means more locations, more poll workers and more voters.

    Some have suggested making Election Day a holiday, but that would involve a serious cost to the economy. Moving Election Day to the weekend means more convenience and less expense.

    Making a change like this won’t be easy, but it’s not unprecedented. In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holiday law, which moved Memorial Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Washington’s Birthday from their original dates to Mondays. If we can alter our federal holidays to benefit shoppers and travelers, surely we can change Election Day for the benefit of our voters.

    Let’s take a cue from the Congress of 1845 and ensure that voting is available to as many working Americans as possible — not just those who can make it to the polls on a Tuesday.

    Steve Israel is a Democratic representative from New York. Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the co-founder of Why Tuesday?, a nonpartisan group seeking to increase voter participation.

    Paul Krugman and David Brooks, whose columns are normally published on Fridays, will appear on the Op-Ed page this Sunday in a special election edition.
     
  2. Catchoftheday

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    WE DON'T
     
  3. Principessa

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    Well you should, so that your farmers are not inconvenienced. :tongue:
     
  4. Principessa

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    :unitedstates: *BUMP* :unitedstates:
    Just thought it was relevant as today is Election Day in the
    US.


     
  5. bobabooey69

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    Now that you mention it, it should be on a Sunday....this and the electoral college needs to go!
     
  6. Gillette

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    On Tuesday's what?
     
  7. Catchoftheday

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    There's an election ???
    OMG who is in it??
     
  8. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    nj, so interesting! I'm a history fanatic and trivia buff and I've never heard this. Thanks!
     
  9. flame boy

    flame boy Account Disabled

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    I never knew this and lord knows I love my useless trivia!
     
  10. Principessa

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    I am a veritable font of useless information. :biggrin1: Yet for some reason I suck at Trivial Pursuit. :frown1:
     
  11. D_Marazion Analdouche

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    I'm ok at the standard Trivial Pursuit, the Star Wars version however, you'll be lucky to get a turn.
     
  12. Biggin'

    Biggin' New Member

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    One of Obamas new army types can come to my home on a sunday with my ballot. I can fill it out after they make my government required breakfast and drop off my check for sitting on my ass while all you suckers are out working to pay for all of the illegal immigrants that will be made legal - that will also be collecting welfare and social security.

    After that, to make sure we stay in power, we'll give em' the right to vote!
     
  13. phonehome

    phonehome Active Member

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    With early voting becoming more popular and I hope it becomes a normal thing for all 50 states, I believe the day may come when this is no longer the case.
     
  14. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    concur... the electoral college is just as antiquated. drop the debates too.
     
  15. EagleCowboy

    EagleCowboy Well-Known Member

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    I don't see it working. There are just as many people working on the weekends as the weekdays. It's just simply trading one day for another while still having the same problems.
     
  16. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Why can't they hold the vote over a span of two days?
     
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