Tuesday voting?

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GloriaInTX's picture
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Tuesday voting?

Do you think setting Tuesday as voting day is just as good as any other, or do you think there would be better voter turnout if it was moved to the weekend... say Saturday?

Today, Iowans will kick off the Republican nominating process for president of the United States with the first-in-the-nation caucuses. But why a Tuesday?

The short answer: We vote on Tuesday for absolutely no good reason. This is true especially when you consider the United States, arguably the world's most famous democracy, has ranked near the bottom of all nations in voter participation for more than half a century. And that's not because, as Mitt Romney suggested to me last month, we need great candidates to increase voter turnout. Heard of JFK? Reagan?

The little-bit-longer answer: We vote on Tuesday because of a law passed in 1845 meant to make voting convenient for Americans traveling by horse and buggy. Seriously. When Congress set out to pick a day for Americans to vote, ultimately settling on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, voting could take two days: a day to get to the county seat to vote and a day to get back for market day on Wednesday. They couldn't travel on the Christian sabbath, so by process of elimination, Tuesday, the first convenient day of the week, was chosen. It was as simple as that.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/03/opinion/soboroff-stop-tuesday-voting/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Rivergallery's picture
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I know most states don't have mail-in voting, and there are a variety of potential fraud issues. But I LOVE mail in ballots, and am glad our state has them.

As for Tues, I do not think Sunday or Sat would work because they might leave out people due to religious beliefs. I wouldn't mind voting be more than one day.. This would allow more people to vote.. or always have mail-in balloting available for those with sudden illness, or deal with childcare, long lines, jobs that won't allow them time off to vote etc.

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I'd probably be less likely to vote on a Weekend. Most business is transacted on weekdays and voting is nothing if not a business. Most of my friends are SAHM's, and our weekends tend to be way busier than our weekdays, when we may have a child/ren in school or preschool or less activities for our kids (like sports etc) or out of town for the weekend. Most people I know tend to have a lot more family time/activities/birthday parties etc on Saturdays, and I assume that lots of religious people would throw a fit if anyone proposed Sunday voting. When I WOH before kids voting on my way to or from work, or at lunch, was easy for me.

ange84's picture
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Here voting is on a Saturday, the polling booths are open all day. Even with the hours the bopolling centres are open my husband still finds it hard to get there because he works split shifts and the wait time sometimes can be awhile so he can potentially spend any time he has for lunch waiting in line to vote. It's also different here because voting is compulsory and nice you are eighteen you are expected to have enrolled to vote

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I agree with the premise that people would vote less if it were on weekends. Even getting people to swing by the polls on their way home from work on a Friday would probably not go over so well. I can't quite imagine as many people giving up their weekend plans to stand in line, especially to vote in local elections. Most polls are open 7am til 7pm around here...plenty of time for most people to hit them before work or after, something that is probably most likely to happen on a less busy Tuesday, one would think.

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Here our voting is done during the week. But we also have advanced polling, mail in polling and anyone who is working on election day is granted an hour to vote, legally away from work.

I don't think a weekend would make it easier. I would think it might make it harder.

Rivergallery's picture
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I know that some religions hold Sat as their holy day.. IE Jews and some Christian denominations. Wouldn't that be anti-their religion to have voting on that day.. forcing them to choose between G-d and state on that day?