The WhyTuesday pledge

The folks at WhyTuesday have caught my attention. Today I decided to sign their pledge.

WhyTuesday

I encourage you to do the same.

They have some great videos on youtube that explain what their mission and approach is. One thing that I find very interesting is that they are reluctant as an organization to take a stand on any issue. Their approach seems to be say loundly, clearly, and frequently: “Hey we have a problem here, what do you propose to do about it?” but not to push for a particular solution to the problem.

Why Tuesday?

Voting on Tuesday is a staple of American life that most of us take for granted. But holding national elections on Tuesdays is not required by the U.S. Constitution. This Election Day, “the Tuesday after the first Monday of November,” was in fact established in 1845 by federal law. In those years, when we were a primarily agrarian nation, Tuesday was a convenient day for most eligible voters (rural workers and land-owning gentry) to journey to the county seat, vote, and journey back home- a trek that could take up to three days. Congress did not want this travel to conflict with days of religious observance, which left Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday was market day. So: Tuesday.

Today, we live in different times. We are a largely urban nation, with nearly 80% of Americans living in metropolitan areas. Many Americans work longer hours, and we struggle to juggle the demands of the commute to work, child-care, and everyday chores and necessities.

At the same time, too few Americans participate in elections. With 50% voter turnout since 1945, half of our nation’s eligible voters do not, or are unable to, exercise their right to vote.

And so we ask: is our voting system truly tailored to the way we live our lives today?

Perhaps it’s time to consider whether a law passed for a different America still makes sense. Perhaps it’s time to consider a rational reevaluation of Election Day.

The question is simple: does voting on a weekday welcome or inhibit participation by all Americans?

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One response to “The WhyTuesday pledge

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes!
    It is not our Constitution which is quaint or obsolete (someone please inform our previous disgraced idiotic U.S. AG AG (Attorney General Alberto Gonzales). It is Voting Tuesday that is obsolete.

    The poorer folks in particular who have been made to stand for hours to vote during a working day are the worst ones hurt
    At least if it is made a national holiday, then they would not have to choose between getting paid and voting.

    Thanks for pushing the question. We NEED this dialogue!

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