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Website review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2014
Why Tuesday?

Why Tuesday?

Cool video, good background info introduce key voting rights issues

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Based on 1 review
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Subjects & Skills
Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: A snazzy intro video and great list of voting reforms offer an approachable look at voting practices.

Cons: Some info is out of date; more links out to resources would flesh out the experience.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.

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.

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Editor's Note: Why Tuesday? is no longer available.

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.

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.

Overall Rating


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.


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.


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.

Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Community Rating

Featured review by
Stephen Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Explores the issues of voting and helps you decide if it is important.
The website has a very informative and aesthetically pleasing intro video about voting. However the website can be difficult to navigate and can be confusing in nature. I believe that if a teacher uses this resource it should not be an exploratory for students but as an aiding tool for the teacher. The website is loaded with information and facts about voting. My favorite thing about the website is that it offers possible solutions to solve low voter turnout. This was extremely beneficial in leading stu ...
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