Republican and Democratic lawmakers agreed Wednesday that weekend voting could help increase voter turnout in elections. During The Hill’s Voting in America event, sponsored by advocacy group Why Tuesday?, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) called weekend voting a “practical” and “common-sense solution” to ensure that hard-working people have the opportunity to vote, boosting turnout. He was joined by former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who suggested the Saturday voting model has worked well in states such as Louisiana. “We don’t encourage people to vote enough,” Lott said. Speakers discussed the issue in the immediate aftermath of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) shocking defeat, in which turnout was low in Tuesday’s primary.
Several speakers said low turnout makes distorted results easier, and Larson suggested Cantor would have won if GOP primary voters had been allowed to vote over the weekend, thus producing higher turnout.
The lawmakers and academics at the event debated ways to fix what they see as a broken voting system.
During President Obama’s first election and reelection, voter turnout ticked up slightly to 57 percent of eligible voters. That’s far short of other countries, such as Australia, where voting is mandatory and turnout is above 90 percent. Other countries, such as India, hold the polls open for weeks to give voters more time to cast ballots.
Full Article: Bipartisan panel warms to weekend voting | TheHill.