ATLANTA – Despite efforts to move election day to the weekend, Tuesday continues as the traditional day to head to the polls.
An organization called WhyTuesday.org asks why our election day isn’t at a more convenient time for voters.
11Alive’s Why Guy dug into the issue.
It’s been 173 years since the horse and buggy are still led Americans to the polls.
In 1845, farmers were the driving force behind America’s economy. They had to travel by horse and buggy to their polling places, and that sometimes required a full day’s travel.
Voting in Georgia | A guide for Georgia’s elections
Farmers tended their crops on Saturdays, went to church on Sunday, and the market on Wednesday, so Tuesday became the big day for elections.
Since we no longer travel by horse and buggy, some lawmakers have suggested moving election day to the weekend.
Supporters say it would make it easier for working men and woman to get to the polls. But one weekend voting bill after another has fizzled.
A 2012 federal study pointed out potential problems.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office report says state election officials might have trouble finding poll workers willing to skip weekend events to man the polls.
“Poll workers would be less willing to work on the weekend because they attend religious services, or participate in church related activities,” the report states. “Officials in seven jurisdictions said they would expect other priorities, such as family obligations, sporting events, and weddings to keep some poll workers from volunteering.”
The report goes on to say that polling places that are available during the week might not so available on Saturday and Sunday. The GAO report also questions if weekend voting would significantly impact voter turnout.
Depending on where you live, early voting in Georgia allows at least one Saturday at the polls.
If you want to wait for the big day in November, Tuesday is the big day, just like it has been for 173 years.
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