November 3 2020

Election Day

Election DayElection Day

Election Day
Voters in Cleveland, Ohio, cast their ballots.

Election Day is the day set aside by law for United States citizens to vote for candidates for public office. Since 1845, it has been on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Tuesday was chosen for Election Day to give citizens enough time to travel to the polling places. In the 1800s, many Americans lived in rural areas and worked as farmers. They had to travel to the nearest town or city to cast their votes. Sunday was a day of rest for those who followed the Christian religion. So, many people needed all day Monday to travel to their polling place.

Some state and local elections are held every year. However, national elections take place only in even-numbered years. So, the national Election Day only takes place every other year. Elections for members of the House of Representatives and a third of the United States Senators are held every two years. Elections for President are held every four years.

Some people would like to make Election Day a national holiday because turnout of voters in national elections is sometimes small. Making Election Day a national holiday would give people the day off and more time to vote. The idea has not gotten much support. However, many states have started having early voting periods. Early voting allows citizens to vote up to a month early in some states.

Image credit: ©AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Marvin Fong
Question 1
In which year was the day for Election Day established?

Question 2
How often are elections for President held?

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