Why Exactly do we Vote on a Tuesday?
Inconvenience is a word that can come to mind when thinking of voting trends in our country. Of all the days America could choose to vote on, why Tuesday?
To really get an understanding of how this tradition came to be, let’s take it back to 19th century America, where the land spreads far and wide and paved roads are nowhere to be seen.
As an agricultural society most people spent their time farming. By November, the harvest was over and farming became less of a priority. Every Sunday you would surely find most of the town residents in church.
You can imagine that traveling was difficult and getting to polls could take hours. Cars were not around until the 20th century and highway systems were not authorized until 1956.
So Tuesdays were pretty convenient for early American citizens.
However, as time went on the need to vote on the second Tuesday in November became more apparent.
In an NPR article by journalist Domenico Montanaro, the reasons for the chosen day to vote are put into clear perspective.
“Lawmakers wanted to prevent Election Day from falling on the first of November for three reasons — religion, business and, of course, politics.”
The first Tuesday of November could be a religious holiday for many Christians, All Saints Day. This day will find many believers visiting churches to give thanks.
“Members of Congress were worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote,” Montanaro said in his article.
While all of these reasons were valid during early America, many people today hope to change these policies.
While voters could benefit from convenience, changing the election date to the weekend does not seem economically feasible to me.
Government officials work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Working on the weekends would cause them to work overtime and be a drain on taxpayers’ money.
I also think it is nice to hold onto a tradition that was created at the foundation of our country.
Individuals always have the option to vote absentee and mail in ballots or they could participate in early election days.
So as we face the 2016 Presidential Election, whether you vote early or not, put an importance on voting and let your voice be heard.