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Why Americans vote on Tuesday after first Monday in November?

Posted on: November 4, 2008

Why do we vote on Tuesday?

Why do we vote on Tuesday?

America has always voted on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November (which means it cannot be the 1st of November ever and always falls between the 2nd and 8th of November) since 1845 when the Congress decided that there should be a fixed date for voting.

Why the Tuesday after first Monday in November?

A bill raised in 1844 set presidential elections polling to be conducted on the first Tuesday in November in years divisible by 4 (or leap years), for some strange reason. Now the Electoral College used to meet on the first Wednesday of December and it was brought to notice that if the first Tuesday of November is selected as the Election day, then there would be a gap of more than 34 days between the two days. This was in violation of the Electoral College Law.

So, it was decided that to keep the gap 34 days or lesser, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November will be conducted, Election Day polling.

Why do we vote on Tuesday?

Now, why did it have to be Tuesday anyway? Here’s the Answer:

In 1845, we survived on agriculture and the fastest and most common form of transport was a horse – horse-carts, sole horse riders and chariots was all you saw on roads.

It took farmers a day to travel to and fro from the election stations and a day to vote – Total 3 DAYS.

Sabbath (as we were more Christian then, than we’re now) fell on Friday.

Which means it couldn’t have been Monday (people wanted to Enjoy their Sundays, and not travel). Couldn’t have been thursday (people couldn’t travel on Sabbath).

This left only Tuesday and Wednesday right? Are you still with me? (complicated math).. 😉

Wednesday was the market day, so voting couldn’t be conducted then.

This left TUESDAY!!

Phew!

Why do we Americans have one of the lowest voting turnouts in the World?

This was fine then, when we rode horses, but today we need an amendment in this law.

Everyone works on Tuesdays. Some states require companies to pay their employees two hours of absentee salaries so people can go and vote. Some states don’t even do that! No wonder people caught in the middle of their work are unable to come to vote.

It’s high time we shifted Election day to a Saturday!!

We don’t need a day to travel to the polling stations anymore. Who agrees?

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1 Response to "Why Americans vote on Tuesday after first Monday in November?"

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