Tuesday & Thursday - Low turnout at the polls?

by Ekua Boateng // Published June 26, 2008

News hot off the press, the UK is considering making access to the polls easier to increase participation and update the antiquated practice of having elections traditionally on a Thursday. The UK government is considering having voting on the weekend in order to tempt more people to the polls and in an attempt to be more inclusive. Though this does not accommodate the needs of people who work on the weekends, there also remain concerns around about this idea not being a panacea as it could as raise religious objections in relation to days of religious worship. Also this proposal is reported to cost between £38m and £58m additionally. However the Liberal Democrats suggest that this is a relatively minor electoral problem in comparison to the bigger picture, which is fixing the electoral system from first past the post arguably a more systemic problem for the Liberal Democrats as the third party in the UK. The UK government is proposing to run a consultation on this proposal and a citizen's summit later this year.

FairVote supports early voting in order to give more citizens and opportunity to participate and have also proposed an Election Day holiday to promote the importance of American democracy. For interesting and insightful information on why Americans go to the polls on Tuesday, and why this practice should be changed to reflect the needs of a modern society be sure to check out Why Tuesday?