This is a short post because, amid the disappointment of last night, there is one bright spot if you believe as I do that access to voting is as close to sacred as any element of civic life in America.
On Oct. 29, Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed the “Saturday Voting Act,” which was on the ballot in San Francisco, called Proposition I.
It won by a healthy margin — nearly 60 percent of the vote.
There is no debate in my mind that if the American people are offered a fair and square deal in terms of voting — that is, the ability to vote on a weekend, not a weekday — they will take it and make their voices heard in increased numbers.
According to a press release, this is what passage of the proposition really means:
…it would require San Francisco to open all polling places on the Saturday before the November 2011 election, in addition to the traditional Tuesday Election Day. The Saturday Election Day would be funded by private donations, all of which would be made public on the Department of Elections website. San Francisco’s “Saturday Voting Act” was inspired by the work nationally of WhyTuesday.org a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) committed to increasing American voter turnout.
WhyTuesday.org is a great organization, by the way, and recently featured in a post by New York magazine.
Here’s some more information from the press release:
Why Tuesday? is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization founded in 2005 to raise awareness about the state of America’s voting system and to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections. Using Web 2.0 technology, Why Tuesday? provides a platform for national dialogue about the current voting system, problems with our current voting system, and solutions that can directly improve the voting process, increase registration and drive turnout. The Why Tuesday? documentary video blog has been seen millions of times across multiple online and traditional media platforms, including national news outlets. Why Tuesday? was the recipient of the Film Your Issue Award as well as being the only non-mainstream news outlet nominated for the 2008 Webby Award for Best Political Blog.
If you want to vote on something on a weekend, thus making it easier for millions of people to vote, you want to watch this and do some soul-searching. And then you want to take some action: