Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Steve Cohen Speaks In Favor Of Weekend Voting

November 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) joined colleagues representing districts from Hawaii to South Carolina on Tuesday, an election day for some governors and mayors around the country, to promote the Weekend Voting Act.

“We need to do everything we can to increase turnout and truly make democracy work and to make it a beacon for the rest of the world,” Cohen said.  “Making voting days convenient for more citizens is the right thing to do.”

The Weekend Voting Act would move Election Day to the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November in every even year for elections of Representatives and Delegates to Congress, and in every fourth year for the election of President and Vice President. It would make it easier and more convenient for all Americans to exercise their right to vote, helping to reduce long lines at the polls and increasing voter turnout.

The tradition of holding federal elections on the first Tuesday of November is an outdated requirement that began with an act of Congress in 1845. Tuesday was selected for its comparative convenience because it was a designated “court day” and the day in which land-owning voters would typically be in town to conduct business. The tradition was based on the then-agrarian American society.

Also speaking for weekend voting were Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at The American Enterprise Institute and a co-founder of WhyTuesday?; Bill Wachtel, a co-founder of WhyTuesday?; and Martin Luther King III, a Civil Rights activist and president of WhyTuesday?