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| | |-+  Bill introduced to move Election Day to weekend
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Author Topic: Bill introduced to move Election Day to weekend  (Read 1476 times)
Tender Branson
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« on: March 11, 2012, 04:15:29 am »
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Two Democratic representatives on Friday said they are introducing legislation to move Election Day from the first Tuesday in November to the first full weekend of that month in an effort to make it easier for Americans to vote.

"By moving Election Day from a single day in the middle of the work week to a full weekend, we are encouraging more working Americans to participate. Our democracy will be best served when our leaders are elected by as many Americans as possible," said co-sponsor Steve Israel of New York.

Added John Larson of Connecticut, the other sponsor: "As a representative democracy, voting is a fundamental responsibility for all Americans and the system should be as accessible as possible for as many as possible. Unfortunately, the system we have now was designed to meet our country's needs over 160 years ago and it no longer makes any sense. It's time we stop making people choose between exercising their responsibility to vote, and meeting their everyday obligations."

The legislation would mandate that election officials keep polls open on the first weekend in November from 10 a.m. on Saturday to 6 p.m. on Sunday, with the option of closing polls overnight.

In 1845, Congress voted to standardize Election Day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. (They included that "after the first Monday" in part to make sure the election wouldn't be held on November 1, the date of the Catholic holy day known as All Saints Day.) Lawmakers chose Tuesday in order to give voters one travel day after the Sunday day of rest to get from their farms into town to vote.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57394298-503544/bill-introduced-to-move-election-day-to-weekend
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 04:22:02 am »
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Too bad they didn't introduce this bill when the Democrats still had a majority in the House and Senate (2009).

Now the Republicans will block it for sure.
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 04:24:42 am »
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It would have been better to make it a federal holiday instead.  Weekends can sometimes be even worse than Tuesdays for some workers for finding time off to vote.

But yeah, this won't go anywhere.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 04:36:18 am »
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It would have been better to make it a federal holiday instead.  Weekends can sometimes be even worse than Tuesdays for some workers for finding time off to vote.

But yeah, this won't go anywhere.

That's why I favor the Estonia Internet voting option as a supplemental to weekend and early/absentee voting.

Early in-person and absentee voting should be enhanced with E-government based Internet voting, starting 1 or 2 weeks ahead of the election weekend like now. Because contrary to in-person and absentee voting, you can still change your vote online ahead of the election weekend poll closing time, in the event there's something game changing going on on the campaign trail in the days before the election weekend.

In Austria, this E-government is already widely used - just not for voting. But technically it would be no problem I guess. For example, I do my tax filings each year, using the E-Government function of the Ministry of Finance. You have to apply for it online, you wait a few days and the Government sends you a letter with 3 codes and you can use the E-Government account.

And because almost everyone uses the Internet these days, this would lessen the burden of people who can't vote on a specific day.
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 04:49:19 am »
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Wouldn't oppose it. Although I think it's only relevant in non-early voting states. If someone in Illinois can't be bothered to vote during 4 weeks of early voting...then I'm not all that worried about whether he has other obligations on Election Day.

That said, having it on a Saturday or Sunday wouldn't have any disadvantage.
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 05:03:46 am »
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I'm always surprised by how many countries vote during the week. Almost like sunday voting is a Eurocatholic thing. Of course the Italian First Republic got it right, opening polls all weekend but with no absentee/early option. Tongue (Instead the railways used to offer special rebates to people travelling home south to vote! Cheesy Oh, and voting was, and still is, nominally compulsory but it's wholly unenforced. That's another thing I happen to approve of.)
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 06:28:37 am »
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Wouldn't oppose it. Although I think it's only relevant in non-early voting states. If someone in Illinois can't be bothered to vote during 4 weeks of early voting...then I'm not all that worried about whether he has other obligations on Election Day.

That said, having it on a Saturday or Sunday wouldn't have any disadvantage.

Except certain religious groups.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 07:58:24 am »
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Wouldn't oppose it. Although I think it's only relevant in non-early voting states. If someone in Illinois can't be bothered to vote during 4 weeks of early voting...then I'm not all that worried about whether he has other obligations on Election Day.

That said, having it on a Saturday or Sunday wouldn't have any disadvantage.

Except certain religious groups.

Which religious groups would that be ?

I think Jews cannot vote on Fridays and Saturdays because of the Sabbat and some Christians might object to Sunday.

But I think Jews can vote on a Sunday and Christians on a Saturday, right ?

On the other hand, having it on a weekend I think would indeed allow more people to vote because I think the majority of people are still at home on the weekend, rather than during the week. And if more people are at home during weekends, it would also be easier to find election officials because they would have more time. But election officials are mostly olds anyway who are retired and don't care which day the election is held.
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2012, 10:02:27 am »
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Favor, but I'd prefer that elections remain on Tuesday with Election Day declared a federal holiday.
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2012, 10:17:38 am »
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Are there really that many people that want to vote and can't under the current system because it's on a Tuesday and are too stupid/ignorant to vote any other way?  Do we really want more stupid/ignorant people voting?
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2012, 10:20:40 am »
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOO I NEED DAYS OFF FROM SCHOOL
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2012, 11:06:29 am »
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they don't want increased lower class turnout.
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2012, 11:08:22 am »
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Are there really that many people that want to vote and can't under the current system because it's on a Tuesday and are too stupid/ignorant to vote any other way?  Do we really want more stupid/ignorant people voting?

oh go to Hell with your self-loathing class hate
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dead0man
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2012, 11:38:04 am »
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What does class have to do with stupidity or ignorance?
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2012, 11:49:55 am »
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Favor, but I'd prefer that elections remain on Tuesday with Election Day declared a federal holiday.
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2012, 11:54:29 am »
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you're stealing my peace, deadman.
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Bacon King
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2012, 12:15:44 pm »
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Are there really that many people that want to vote and can't under the current system because it's on a Tuesday and are too stupid/ignorant to vote any other way?  Do we really want more stupid/ignorant people voting?

Example: I worked from 8-2 on Tuesday, then had class from 3-7. I found out that I had to cover that shift the day before, so it was obviously too late to get an absentee ballot. It takes just over an hour to drive from home to work, when you account for rush hour traffic, and driving home to my polling place would be waaay out of my way when I'm driving between work and school. Georgia polls are open 7-7. I would not have been able to vote last week if my professor hadn't canceled my second class; as it is, I was the very last person to vote in my precinct.

Are you seriously insinuating that someone like me is "stupid/ignorant" just because I manage to balance being a full-time student with a full-time job? And I would somehow be less ignorant if I worked less and/or didn't go to school? Don't be ridiculous.

Tuesday election days only disenfranchise the busy. Caucuses are worse because they force you to take like three hours out of your day; but I'd hate to live in a state that only allowed election day voting. (And I guess personally, I'm going to take this as a lesson to always do early voting from now on, but that makes me sad because I like going into the booth on election day).
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2012, 02:32:06 pm »
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Fully support.
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 02:57:08 pm »
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Too bad they didn't introduce this bill when the Democrats still had a majority in the House and Senate.

Makes you wonder why they didn't? Perhaps half of them are complicit and the other half spineless? Democrats are pathetic.
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 03:05:30 pm »

The only problem with weekend elections is that they'd likely run afoul of religious observances. I'm not sure I want people attending a church for services the same day that a polling booth is open in one. And if we went Saturday instead of Sunday, would that be a slight to the Jewish?

I dunno, I sort of like the Tuesday tradition. A better solution would be to make "Election Tuesday" a national holiday instead.
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2012, 03:08:55 pm »
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Making Election Day (1st Tuesday of November, right?) a federal holiday is easier in my opinion, so I oppose moving it to the weekend.
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2012, 03:17:05 pm »
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Are there really that many people that want to vote and can't under the current system because it's on a Tuesday and are too stupid/ignorant to vote any other way?  Do we really want more stupid/ignorant people voting?

Example: I worked from 8-2 on Tuesday, then had class from 3-7. I found out that I had to cover that shift the day before, so it was obviously too late to get an absentee ballot. It takes just over an hour to drive from home to work, when you account for rush hour traffic, and driving home to my polling place would be waaay out of my way when I'm driving between work and school. Georgia polls are open 7-7. I would not have been able to vote last week if my professor hadn't canceled my second class; as it is, I was the very last person to vote in my precinct.

Are you seriously insinuating that someone like me is "stupid/ignorant" just because I manage to balance being a full-time student with a full-time job? And I would somehow be less ignorant if I worked less and/or didn't go to school? Don't be ridiculous.
Alright, good argument.  Consider my position changed and my argument void.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2012, 03:26:44 pm »
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Good. I'd favor it. Thats how state elections are held down here in Louisiana.
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2012, 03:35:31 pm »
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Oppose, for the sole purpose that I'm a staunch traditionalist.
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Torie
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2012, 03:59:11 pm »
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I am for it, if, and only if, concomitantly, the voting age is moved back up to 21. I opposed lowering it to 18 when that occurred (a vote I actually coincidentally witnessed from the galleries in the House), and I still oppose it. I don't think 18 year olds in college or living at home live enough in the "real world" to have the franchise. Now some factory rat working full time, and paying taxes, is another matter. That was my thinking back when I was around 19 years of age when the change was made, and it is still my rationale 42 years later.

Yes, I know, in this neighborhood, my opinion is probably a solo one. Smiley
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