Why do we vote on Tuesdays? People across the United States will cast their ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 8. (AP Photo/David Dermer/Melinda Deslatte)
Why do we vote on Tuesdays?
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On Nov. 8, Americans will head to the voting booth and cast their ballots for the next president of the United States. As always, this time-honored tradition falls on a Tuesday, but why? The answer, it turns out, has a lot to do with buggies and farmers markets.
 
The Founding Fathers met at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, NPR explains, but at the end of the meeting, they still had not resolved a number of questions about how to run an entire nation. One of those issues involved the timing of federal elections. As a quick fix, they decided to leave it to individual states to set their own voting days, which led to several decades of "electoral chaos," NPR writes. Random elections were held at all different times, all over the country.
 
In 1845, Congress decided to straighten things out. Monday was out, lawmakers reasoned, because people would have to travel to the polls in their buggies on Sunday. Voting on that day wouldn't sit well with church-goers. Wednesday wouldn't work, either, since mid-week usually meant market day for farmers, and most citizens at the time were farmers. Again, Thursday didn't fit the bill because of the buggy-traveling time allocation (which would cut into market day). And Friday? Well, NPR doesn't say, but who wants to deal with such a serious issue at the very end of the week?

So, Tuesday was the day, and that seemed to work great for 19th century voters.
 
"In the 1840s, elections were a big to-do. There was a lot of hoopla, there were parades," Ritchie says. "Whole families would come on wagons from the farms. People would get dressed up for the occasion."
 
Though the America of buggies and markets has long since given way to minivans and supermarkets, NPR concludes, Tuesday remains the day we vote.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why aren't most Americans farmers now?
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COMMENTS (10)
  • jnyahp-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:06 p.m.

    i find that its cool that they considered everyone and shows you how busy america is everyday of the week. Times have changed but they still havent changed the day. its nice to know that in america things like racial judgement and such is sacred but a day is.

  • mhailie-dav
    11/01/2016 - 04:57 p.m.

    In response to "Why do we vote on Tuesdays?," I agree that we should vote on Tuesdays. One reason i agree is that it doesn't cut into to anyones precious time. Another reason is that we don't want farmers to suffer if they loose profit. It says in the article "As a quick fix, they decided to leave it to individual states to set their own voting days, which led to several decades of "electoral chaos," NPR writes. Random elections were held at all different times, all over the country." This wouldn't work out very good. A third reason is that people would have ti ride in buggies" They did not want to have to drive to vote in huge buggies. Even tough i think Tuesday is a great day to vote people may think another day would work better.

  • pjack-dav
    11/02/2016 - 07:32 p.m.

    In response to "Why do we vote on Tuesdays", I agree that Tuesday is a good day to vote. One reason is Tuesday isn't day that people often have to do things on. Another reason is on all the other days the people had things to do. A third reason is Sunday is a religious day and Wednesday is a day where most products are shipped in and out because it is in the middle of the business week. Even though Tuesday isn't an important day, it is a great day to vote.

  • lellanor-dav
    11/03/2016 - 07:13 p.m.

    In response to "Why do we vote on Tuesdays?", i agree that we should vote on Tuesdays. One reason i agree is that Tuesday is the only free day I have in a week. Another reason is that it seems to everyone else that Tuesday is a good day too! It says in the article, "So, Tuesday was the day, and that seemed to work great for 19th century voters". A third reason is that its been a tradition for so long why break it. It was Tuesday since the 19th century. Even though it may not seem that important, but if you really think about it, it kinda is important.

  • wjake-dav
    11/14/2016 - 04:25 p.m.

    I agree that it should be on a Tuesday. I think voting day should be on a Tuesday because church is on Sunday, people are at the market on Wednesday and Friday is a fun day. One quote from the text that proves that voting day should be on a Tuesday is "Sunday. Voting on that day wouldn't sit well with church-goers.". People that go to church would not have the time to vote because they have to go to church. Another quote is "Wednesday wouldn't work, either, since mid-week usually meant market day for farmers". The farmer would have to not get seeds for plants and they will not sell anything because they have nothing to sell then some people will go hungry. One more quote is "And Friday? Well, NPR doesn't say, but who wants to deal with such a serious issue at the very end of the week?". Nobody is going to vote because this is there time to relax there brains. That is why I think voting day is good on a Tuesday.

  • hagenm-moo
    11/17/2016 - 09:14 a.m.

    It was very cool I really liked it. Thanks for letting us learn about this

  • adamc-moo
    11/17/2016 - 09:19 a.m.

    I liked how they talked about why they made it in November and I liked why they made it in November.

  • dylana-moo
    11/17/2016 - 09:27 a.m.

    I think that we as a family shod keep it the same way that it it always is.

  • jeffreyt-moo
    11/17/2016 - 09:48 a.m.

    That was good. I like that it shows the year like"1787"on it.

  • hlindsay-dav
    11/17/2016 - 06:19 p.m.

    In response to "Why do we vote on Tuesdays?" I agree that we should vote on Tuesdays. One reason I agree is that it is the perfect day of the week. Another reason is that it is good because it does not interfere with church. It says in the article "Voting on that day wouldn't sit well with church-goers." A third reason is the markets won't loose any money. Even though it can be an odd day to get out of work, I think
    it is good day because we don't miss important events.

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