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Everybodyís Voting for the Weekend

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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 11:23 AM
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Everybodyís Voting for the Weekend
BY Nov. 4, more than $5 billion will have been spent trying to persuade voters to cast their presidential and congressional ballots one way or another. Despite all the money and the news media hysteria, and even with record numbers of Americans heading to the polls, the United States wonít even come close to the top nations in the world for voter turnout. We will be well behind ó to name just a few ó Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand.

What do those countries, among many others, have in common? Their citizens all vote on a weekend day. But in the United States, for more than 150 years, weíve voted on Tuesday. Why? Itís not in the Constitution. It isnít to avoid holidays. And itís not because people hate Mondays.

The reason we vote on Tuesday makes perfect sense ó at least it did in 1845.

To understand the decision Congress made that year, letís imagine ourselves as members of early agrarian American society. Saturday was for farming, Sunday was the Lordís day, Monday was required for travel to the county seat where the polling places were, Tuesday you voted, Wednesday you returned home, and Thursday it was back to work.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/opinion/24ornstein.ht...
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