Jun 11, 2008

future US elections on Saturday?

Roland Martin wants to change the election day in the US from the first Tuesday of November to the first Saturday of November.

Being that Saturday is a day off for most people, his claim is that the voting percentage would go up. Many people do not vote because they are at work and by the time they get to the polling station the lines are too long, and whatnot. Voting on Saturday would include mroe people in the process.

Obviously voting on Saturday would be bad for religious Jews who cannot vote on Saturday due to it being shabbos. Theoretically, if it is better for 300 million people, should that be sacrificed because of 200,000 who cannot vote (I made that number up. I have no idea how many religious Jews there are) on that day?

What do you think?

(this has nothing to do with the fact that his suggestion clearly will not pass, both because of the Jews and because of the strong aversion to changing things. This is just for the debate)


  1. I always thought that Election Day should be replaced with Election Week (or Election Days) with voting over a number of days. This would allow everyone to have a much better chance of participating.

    The Wolf

  2. a week? that sounds kind of leisurely...

    I always thought it was strange that the process for primaries is something like 15 months long of campaigning with everyone voting on different days/weeks/months, while the actual election process is only 5 months long of campaigning and everyone votes on the same day. It seems kind of backwards.

  3. I don't have any problem with this Rafi. We Orthodox Jews can always vote early (as in this year's presidential primaries - one could vote up to a month before the actual Election Day) or through absentee ballots.
    I just wonder which constituency he expects to rope in with this change. Polls are open pretty early and stay open fairly late. If you really want to vote, you can find a way to do it - does he really think thousands of people are gonna get up on a Saturday (their "day off") and go vote?

  4. I hear you Ely. But if so, then there is also no need to change the day at all. if anyone who wants to can find a way to vote, why can people too busy to vote on Tuesdays not already apply for absentee voting or find whatever other alternatives are available? Why change it at all?

  5. In November Shabbos is over relatively early and the polls usually don't close until 9PM so people could vote after shabbos.


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