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Why Do We Have to Vote on a Tuesday?

It ain't 1845 anymore, folks
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2010 1:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Pop quiz: Why do we have to schlep to the polls on a Tuesday? Answer: Because it seemed convenient in 1845. Back then, the weekends were verboten for religious reasons, and since you needed to allow at least a day for horse and buggy travel, and Wednesday was market day, Tuesday seemed about right. Make sense? Yeah, we didn’t think so, and neither do the people at Why Tuesday?, a group devoted to making it easier to vote.

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“I do not travel often by horse and buggy, and I don’t think that many other people do today either,” the group’s executive director said in an interview with New York Magazine. “We need to go to a voting system 2.0.” The US, Soboroff points out, is 139th in voter participation out of 172 world democracies—and most of the top ones all vote on a weekend or national holiday. But there's hope: San Francisco is voting today on moving voting to weekends, and Michael Bloomberg says he’ll campaign for a similar move in New York. To read the entire amusing interview, click here. (Read more Election 2010 stories.)

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