Dec 1, 2018

Why Vote on Tuesday

Americans always vote in federal elections on Tuesday and it goes back to the time of horse and buggy.

Between 1788 and 1845, states decided their own voting dates and it resulted in different times to pick the electors. For instance, property owners would cast their votes for president on the first Wednesday of December. During 1792, a law was passed mandating that state elections be held within a 34-day period before that day, so most elections took place in November after the harvest was finished, but before winter began.

With the advent of the railroad and telegraph, Congress decided it was time to standardize a date. Monday was out, because it would require people to travel to the polls by buggy on the Sunday Sabbath. Wednesday was also not an option, because it was market day and farmers would not be able to make it to the polls. So it was decided that Tuesday would be the day that Americans would vote in elections, and in 1845, Congress passed a law that presidential elections would be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

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