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It’s Election Day! But, Why?

November 6, 2012 |

It’s Election Day! So while everyone is headed off to the polls wondering which candidate’s tax plan is going to benefit them the most, we thought it’d be fun to lighten the mood a little and reflect on why Election Day is… when it is.

  • Why November? As you may remember from our earlier post about the school year, America used to be primarily an agricultural society. When law makers were trying to figure out when to hold Election Day, they took into account that November was likely a good month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls. This was, after all, when the fall harvests were over, but, for the most part, the majority of the nation still had mild enough weather to travel.
  • Why Tuesday? Many people in rural areas had to travel rather lengthy distances the day before Election Day to reach the polls (horse and buggies were no speed machines, you know). Farmers needed a day to get to the polling station, a day to vote, and a day to get back, but had to be home for religious observance. Sunday being the day of worship, Monday was out.  Wednesday was an option too, but that was market day.
  • Why never the 1st? November 1st is All Saints Day and people needed to be home. In addition, many shop owners worked on their books for the preceding month on the first.

So, to keep everyone happy, operating, and voting, Election Day was determined to be the Tuesday on or after November 2nd. Happy voting!

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