Election Day in the United States of America
For much of our history, America was a predominantly agrarian society. Lawmakers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls. (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).
Election Day in the United States of America is held annually the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. It can fall between November 2 and November 8. It is the day when popular ballots are held to select public officials. These include national, state and local government representatives at all levels, and the President every four years.
Election Day is a civic holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay. California Elections Code Section 14000 provides that employees otherwise unable to vote must be allowed two hours off with pay, at the beginning or end of a shift.
Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday? Lawmakers wanted to prevent Election Day from falling on the first of November for two reasons. First, November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st. Apparently, Congress was worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote!
In 1845 the United States Congress chose a single date for all national elections in all states. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen so that there would never be more than 34 days between Election Day and the first Wednesday in December. Election Day is held on a Tuesday so that voters will not have to vote or travel on Sunday. This was an important consideration at the time when the laws were written and is still so in some Christian communities in the United States. (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).
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