IN OTHER WORDS: Poll reform

Should Election Day in the US remain on Tuesdays if the goal is to inspire more voters? Millions of Americans would prefer to keep the present system. The survey showed 45 per cent liked the idea of switching polls to the weekend. That feeling conflicts with a coalition that calls itself Why Tuesday? After all, the September poll also showed that two-thirds of 1,000 people surveyed believe the system needs changing.

The rejection of week-end voting shouldn’t cause Why Tuesday? — a bipartisan group led by former presidential candidates Jack Kemp, a Republican, and Bill Bradley, a Democrat — to abandon its efforts. Its intent is to stir debate about voting reform. Whether Tuesdays hinder turnout is worth exploring. Former Atlanta mayor and ambassador to the UN Andrew Young said Tuesday voting makes no sense. In 1845 federal law chose the November day so that farmers could easily get to the county seat to vote. But this is no longer a primarily agricultural


A switch to Saturday would be difficult. Recreational pursuits, household chores, shopping and other activities monopolise time on weekends. Some other options include keeping the polls open for 24 hours. The debate will continue because the issues surrounding voter participation are valid.