Is it a coincidence that every US federal elections occur on a Tuesday, or is there a deeper logic behind it. As per a report published by NPR, it is latter.
- After the independence till 1845, the states were given a free hand in choosing their own voting dates. And as one would expect, it resulted in a “crazy quilt of elections” with each state coming up with their own results adding to the painfully long drama.
- Usually, the white male aristocrats, who were the only ones eligible to vote, chose the first Wednesday of December to have their say. But due to the ensuing chaos of this practice, a law was passed in 1792 ratifying the condition of holding elections within a 34-day period before the first Wednesday of December, so the elections mostly started happening in November.
- November was also suitable as the American society was based on agriculture, and this month was usually where the harvest was finished but weather was still clear to travel.
- After the advent of trains, telegraphs and cars, a standardised date was set by the Congress. A Monday was out of the questions, as it would mean people had to travel on the Sunday Sabbath.
- Wednesday was ruled out as well, since it was market day for the farmers, and they would have to forsake their profits.
- Finally a Tuesday was chosen in 1845, and that too after the first Monday in November.
This is why election day is always a tuesday in November!