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Should Election Day Be On a Weekend?

Should Election Day Be On a Weekend?

We’ve been hearing a lot about efforts to try and depress voter turnout, such as onerous voter ID laws.† But how about plans to get even more people to the polls?

Congressmen Steve Israel of New York and John Larson of Connecticut have a way to make that happen.† They want to change election day to election weekend. According to their proposal, polls would be open from 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month of November, and close at 6 p.m. on the first Sunday.

ďAs 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 countryís needs over 160 years ago and it no longer makes any sense. Itís time we stop making people choose between exercising their responsibility to vote and meeting their everyday obligations,” stated Congressman Larson.

The Hill notes that Republicans have been unenthused about changing the rules because “the logistical hurdles of workday voting are traditionally more of a challenge to low-income and minority voters who usually favor Democrats at the polls.”

So what do you think?† Is “election weekend” a good idea, or a bad one?† Tell us in the comments.

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116 comments

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6:45PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

Don't know don't care.

2:33AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Thank you for inspiring voting.

6:31PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

I vote because it is a privilege and a right. We must make it easier for people to vote, not harder as the righties in some states are doing. Friday and Saturday voting as well as vote by mail. I have been voting by mail for years now. It is easy and efficient. you can study the ballot in the ease of your home. You don't have to be nervous if you don't understand something. Just fill it out, sign and mail it in. We always said we want everyone to vote, and as many people as possible should vote. Republicans that are trying to disenfranchise voters who they think will vote Democratic are UN-American, and unpatriotic. Shameful!

11:18PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

In Australia, election day has been Saturday 8am to 6pm for as long as anyone can remember. If you can't make it because of religious or work commitments you can always have a pre-poll vote. Of course we have the advantage of having only 1 Commonwealth and 8 state/territory electoral comissions to arrange our elections.

7:55PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

I also think a 4 day voteing period, from friday thru monday would be more helpful. That way, those who can get out to vote on week days have 2 days to choose from and the working folks can have the weekends. I'm astounded this hasn't changed in 160 years when voteing is so core to our type of government system. Keep this in mind the next time you're inclined to complain about how slow things are to change in a brief 4 year presidental term.But it would be interesting to see how much faster it would happen if people understood our congress-people are supposed to work together for all the people, not fight with each other trying to impose the idealogy of their base on everybody when they win.

3:38AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

I doubt that the vast majority of Americans would agree to compulsory voting, including me.

1:56AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

I can't imagine anything more inconvenient than elections on a weekday! Here in Australia we vote on a Saturday, from 8.00am to 6.00pm. It is also compulsory.

1:24AM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Yes.

4:09PM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

...or made a national holiday so that everyone is free to go vote!

2:55PM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Voting should be on a weekend and made compulsory

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