Friday, April 13th, 2012
Do you know why we vote on Tuesday? Here’s the answer:
In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote. We were an agrarian society. We traveled by horse and buggy. Farmers needed a day to get to the county seat, a day to vote, and a day to get back, without interfering with the three days of worship. So that left Tuesday and Wednesday, but Wednesday was market day. So, Tuesday it was. In 1875 Congress extended the Tuesday date for national House elections and in 1914 for federal Senate elections.
Directed by William Wachtel, Andrew Young, and AEI’s Norman Ornstein, Why Tuesday? is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to increase voter turnout and participation in elections–by, for example, urging that voting take place on the weekends. Watch the organization’s Jacob Soboroff explain the concept at his recent TED talk.