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Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?

September 11, 2020

Why is Election Day in the United States on a Tuesday? Believe it or not, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, before a law was passed in 1845, each state had its own Election Day. But why on a Tuesday and furthermore, why the Tuesday after the first Monday of November? Seems like an arbitrary day, but there was actually quite a bit of thought put into picking an Election Day that made sense for most people. Sundays were out because most people reserved that day for worship. Wednesdays were also off the table because in most places, that was the day that farmers and merchants would sell their goods at the town’s market. And since transportation wasn’t as easy as it is today—we’re talking horse-drawn carriages here—traveling anywhere often took a day. Since Sunday and Wednesday were not travel days, Mondays and Thursdays were most-likely travel days, and would therefore not be good days to hold an election either. Tuesdays just seemed like the most logical day for elections. Now, there’s debate as to whether or not Tuesdays are indeed the best day of the week for elections now, but until the law changes, voting on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November is Election Day in the United States!

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