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Why do Americans vote on the first Tuesday of November? - 2002-11-06


This week, our Political Roundtable program traverses a time-line spanning 1845 to 1914 in order to answer a very pertinent question: Why do Americans vote in the presidential and congressional elections on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

The Tuesday after the first Monday in November, every fourth year, was designated by a code, in 1845, as the day to elect the country’s president. The code established the date for electing members of the House of Representatives in every even-numbered year in 1875. The date and the time for electing Senators was established in 1914.

There was a good reason in designating this date in November. In the past, most Americans lived on farms and November was the month for harvest, which meant that the weather was still good enough to travel long distances to voting places.

Tune in to November 5th's Political Roundtable to learn more about the fascinating history of Election Day.

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