Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day

Today is Election Day in the United States. It is a big year for us because we are electing our President this year and it has been a very contentious race. If you live in the United States, I hope you get out and vote!

I started wondering how Election Day was started and why it was this time every year. I want to share with you what I found out.

Congress passed a federal law in 1845 making the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November as Election Day. Before this happened, states held elections any time they wanted within a 34 day period before the first Wednesday in December. Unfortunately, the early results in some states could affect the turnout and results in later elections held in other states. That is why Congress created one day for the nation to vote.

The reason they decided on that specific day goes back to the 1800s. People were farmers and lived far from where they needed to vote so they were given a two-day window for Election Day. They couldn’t do this on weekends since it interfered with church days. Wednesday was market day which was an important day for the farmer’s livelihood. So, Tuesday was the most convenient day for most people.

November was also the best choice for the month since spring and summer months interfered with the planting season. In November the harvest was finished and winter had not arrived yet.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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