The Reason Why Elections Take Place On Tuesdays
The midterm elections are coming up tomorrow, November 6, as has every federal election since anyone can remember. What's the reason for votes to be cast on this day, when there are six other days of the week to choose from?
In the country's infancy, each state would decide when their day to vote would be. Unsurprisingly, this caused a lot of confusion about when the results of the election could finally be determined. In 1792, a law was passed requiring votes to be cast at least 34 days before the first Wednesday of December (a day that had been popular among those who had voting rights at that time, for whatever reason). As a result, elections were held in November, which was also an opportune time to vote because the harvest was over. Travel would also be easier for those who had to take their horse and buggy to the distant polling places, because winter hadn't set in yet.
The standardization of a date also came with the evolution of communication technology--as results could be reported more quickly, it was no longer sensible for the results to trickle in. Monday wasn't an option, because it would require for people to travel to the polls on Sunday, which was supposed to be a day of rest. Wednesday also wouldn't work, because it was a market day, so Tuesday was selected. You would think that there would be more of an official-sounding reason for this, but as with most things, it appears to be simply a matter of convenience.
Do you know where your polling place is? Make sure you're all ready to cast your vote in the midterm elections!