John Oliver's Got a Good Point: Why Is Voting on Tuesdays Still a Thing?

Published On 11/07/2016 Published On 11/07/2016

Considering the historic stakes of the 2016 presidential election, it's probably safe to say you're more concerned with serious issues than things like the day of the week on which Election Day falls. But with the end of the nightmarish campaign just hours away, John Oliver raised a damn good question you can ponder on your way home from your local polling location: how is voting on Tuesdays still a thing?

The question of why America continues to hold Election Day on Tuesdays has obviously come up several times before, but on Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver dedicated a brief segment to providing the critical and humorous reexamination the issue deserves. As the video explains, voting on Tuesdays is the result of an 1845 law that was passed to give Americans enough time to travel long distances to polling locations without missing the Sabbath over the weekends. Monday, essentially, was meant to be a travel day. But today, it's safe to say that voting on Tuesdays is actually preventing many people from conveniently casting their ballots, considering all the videos you've seen of stupidly long lines at polling sites, stories of people worrying about crucial hourly pay at work, and the United States' embarrassingly low voter turnout. 

So what the hell should we do to make voting in our major elections better? Well, as the video suggests, expanding early voting to all 50 states, moving Election Day to a weekend day (like several other countries), and/or declaring Election Day a national holiday are just a few reasonable solutions. They almost make too much sense to actually happen, though, right?

Until we move Election Day to a day of the week that, you know, actually makes sense, we'll just have to deal with the inconvenience of voting around work, doctors appointments, and the other demands of life on a damn weekday. All of this "so farmers who have been dead for more than a century won't have an excuse to miss church," according to the video. Yeah, feel free to let out an exasperated sigh right about now.

Inconvenience or not, you better get out there and vote. Your "I'm too busy" excuse is basically bullshit now that an American astronaut cast his absentee ballot from aboard the freaking International Space Station. Please, please vote. 

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