HARTFORD — With low voter participation across the nation at the polls this week, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), announced today that he supports an initiative to move elections from Tuesdays to the weekend to make it easier for all citizens to do their civic duty.
"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," said Larson. "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 current system, with national and local elections held on Tuesdays, was originally established in 1845 to accommodate the schedule of a largely agrarian society. Today, as an urban society, with many competing demands on everyone’s time, taking the time to go vote during a busy workday is a large impediment for many Americans. In fact, voter turnout has decreased in almost every presidential election since 1965.
The solution is simple, Larson says, "moving our elections to the weekend would make it much easier for everyone to get out and vote." That is the goal of the 'Why Tuesday' Initiative, a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to find solutions to increase voter participation.
'Why Tuesday' supports the Weekend Voting Act which will be introduced this Congress to move Congressional and presidential elections to weekends. "Bill Wachtel and the folks at Why Tuesday are right," Larson noted. "Even one American voter disenfranchised because of an outdated scheduling policy is too many. I will be working to make this change in how we vote so that more Americans can participate without having to choose between work, or their families, and their desire to vote."