Common Sense Review
Updated October 2014

Why Tuesday?

Cool video, good background info introduce key voting rights issues
Visit Website
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Why Tuesday? is a website that explores voting rights and voting practices in the United States.
  • Users can explore info about fair voting rights practices on the Evidence page.
  • The blog explores these same ideas in further detail, with tie-ins to current events.
  • Users can enter their home addresses and explore the voting records of their elected officials.
A snazzy intro video and great list of voting reforms offer an approachable look at voting practices.
Some info is out of date; more links out to resources would flesh out the experience.
Bottom Line
Engaging site offers a worthy introduction to the American political system.
Patricia Monticello Kievlan
Common Sense Reviewer
Foundation/Non-Profit Member
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

With some inconsistent navigation and text-heavy content, the site's design isn't especially appealing for students. However, the opening video does a great job of summarizing the key issue and drawing students in.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

There's a lot of great information here -- from the intro video to explanations of voting rights issues to the "contact your elected officials" section, kids can explore solid info and take action.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

The navigation can be inconsistent, and some info is out of date. More FAQs and links to other nonprofit or government resources would helpfully extend the experience.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Why Tuesday? has great potential for a U.S. history or U.S. government class, or any social studies class that focuses on the democratic process in the United States. Encourage students to explore the election reforms detailed on the site, like weekend voting, online or automatic registration, and voter ID cards. Have students research these issues and debate them in teams, taking sides on whether to keep the current system or adopt something new. Talk about the history of the Voting Rights Act, the Fourteenth Amendment, and other landmark civil rights struggles that have dealt with voting rights in this country. If possible, have students research your local elected officials' positions on these issues and, if appropriate, reach out to them to learn more about their perspectives.

Read More Read Less
What's It Like?

Why Tuesday? is a website that examines the history and politics behind voting laws in the United States. Created by a nonprofit organization with the same name, Why Tuesday? works to raise awareness about low voter turnout and examine the state of the voting system in the United States. An intro video poses the site's title question (Why are our national elections held the first Tuesday in November?) to a series of state and national leaders. Nicely, the video features members of both major political parties (including President Obama, Senator John McCain, and a host of other prominent politicians) and then features the organization's former executive director discussing the history of the practice. After viewing the video, students can explore the site's homepage in greater detail to see where candidates in the last two national elections stood on key voting rights issues.

Elsewhere on the site, students can dig deeper into the "Why Tuesday?" question, learn about the organization's history (on the About and FAQ pages), view data supporting the merits of weekend voting (on the Evidence page), and read past news coverage of the site (on the Media page). The Reforms page examines other voting practices in the United States, like voter registration and voter ID laws, and the Action page lets students search for their local elected officials, view their voting records on these issues, and get in contact.

Read More Read Less
Is It Good For Learning?

Whether you're introducing students to the election process or diving deep into its nuances, Why Tuesday? is a great place to start. The intro video is an absorbing combination of cool animation and fast-paced interviews with political bigwigs, and the voting reforms page offers a good list of some of the most contentious voting rights issues. It would be even better if the site dug deeper: Users can get a small taste of the dynamics surrounding voter ID laws and other voting topics, but links to court cases, scholarly websites, or other reliable sources would help kids and teachers get more informed about the issues at stake. Additionally, the contact features could use more nuance: If a politician hasn't explicitly voted to support voting rights, the site states, "Governor Doe is ignoring the health of our voting system and has not weighed in on how to improve our elections." The language is a little harsh -- especially for a site that's all about building consensus and supporting our democracy.

Meanwhile, some inconsistencies are jarring: Most of the politicians featured in the intro video don't have a lengthy voting record on voting rights, which makes their taped remarks seem less genuine or even misleading. Some info also needs to be updated: A handful of officials unseated in the November 2014 elections are still listed as incumbents. However, even as it is, Why Tuesday? is a worthy introduction to the American political system.

Read More Read Less

See how teachers are using Why Tuesday?

Lesson Plans