Tuesday is election day due to our country’s agricultural roots

Nov 5, 2018

With so much at stake when we go to the polls Tuesday, many of us may not have thought twice about why we vote on the month and day we do.


Bob Myers is with the Historical Society of Michigan

He says in the 1800’s most people were farmers.

They rested on Sunday, and sold their goods on Wednesday.

So, to allot allotted for horse and buggy travel time, voting on Tuesday made the most sense.

“Back then it could take you the better part of a day to get there,” Myers said.

Myers adds that November was chosen because it was after harvest season and before winter kicked in.In 1845, Congress mandated all states hold their elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Before the date was standardized, states could hold their election on any day within a 34-day time span before the first Wednesday in December, said Myers.

That didn’t work well because word of election results in one state reached others before they voted, he said.