Choosing the 60 Blog

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Every morning, you have two choices:  continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.

Today is election day.  November 8, the latest date on the November calendar that can be election day.  Congress designated the second Tuesday after the first Monday of November as Election Day. The Federal Election Commission explains:  For much of our history, America was a predominantly agrarian society.  Lawmakers believed November was the most convenient month for farmers to travel to the polling place.  The fall harvest was over and the weather was still mild enough to permit travel.  Tuesday was chosen because most residents of rural America had to travel significant distances to the county seat in order to vote.  Monday was not reasonable because many voters would need to begin travel on Sunday, which conflicted with church services and Sunday worship.  The first Tuesday after the first Monday was chosen for two reasons:  (i) November 1 is All Saints Day (a Roman Catholic holiday) and most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the first of the month, and (ii) Congress was worried that the “economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote.”

Of course, these reasons are completely out-of-date. The United States is the world’s most famous democracy, yet we rank near the bottom of all nations in voter turnout. According to the U.S. Census, most Americans don’t vote because it’s inconvenient, possibly due to having to take time off from work.  Remember, it was convenient for people that traveled by horse and buggy when the law was set in 1845.

WhyTuesday.org was created in 2005 to explore the current voting system, problems with our current voting system, and solutions that can directly improve the voting process, increase registration and drive turnout.  WhyTuesday? has inspired the introduction of the Weekend Voting Act in Congress. It has also prompted the passage of the Saturday Voting Act in San Francisco, and a study by the U.S. GAO about the feasibility of implementing Weekend Voting in the United States.

As of dinner time on Tuesday evening, we can’t predict the outcome of the election.  We just have to go through the evening knowing that whoever wins this election will be the president we must support for the next four years.

For tonight, I choose to make a choice between continuing to sleep with my dreams, or to wake up and chase them.  We’ll see tomorrow.

 

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