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U.S. Elections

Election Day - The U.S. Election Process

Most political elections in the US are held on one specific day, the so-called Election Day.

Based on the Constitution it is the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

So why was this day chosen?

Congress stipulated this day in the midth of the 19th century, basically because they wanted to make sure that as many voters as possible would find this day convenient to vote.

At this time most people found their jobs in agriculture, where most tasks depend on weather and seasons. It had to be found a period where these people were not too busy and would find the time to travel to the next bigger town where the polling station was.
That's why November was chosen as the month - harvest was over and hopefully the weather conditions weren't too bad to travel to the next town (winter would be too late). Traveling is the right expression, because it was often a little longer trip which could take a day or two.

Officials calculated 2 days and so it came that Tuesday was chosen as the election day. It was thought that nobody would start that trip on a Sunday, because it was church day.

But why Tuesday after FIRST Monday in November?

Officials didn't like the idea that election day could fall on November 1st, because that's "All Saints Day" and therefore a day many would consider as inconvenient, inappropriate to be election day.
Another reason could be that merchants often used this 1st day of the month to do their monthly balance and depending on whether it would be a favorable or an adverse one it could influence the opinion of the voter too spontaneously - somehow or other.

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