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 to 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 decided on 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. This 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?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (250)
  • justins1-stu
    10/27/2016 - 06:42 p.m.

    i think its a good idea to vote on thursday because its an open day for everyone.

  • katiew1-stu
    10/27/2016 - 11:19 p.m.

    wow i didn't know there would be a whole reson behind this i mean now i understand why we vote on tusday.

  • angelax-bur
    10/28/2016 - 11:31 a.m.

    The reason why I think most Americans aren't farmers now is because of the economy. People probably realized that the city had more jobs than the country, and now the common jobs are doctors, lawyers, and etc. That is why I think most Americans aren't farmers now

  • breannad-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:08 p.m.

    A lot of people prefer not to be farmers because now there are big cities and more jobs to be other than being a farmer. And flat land is rare these days because of shopping places, big cities, and housing. As a farmer, I think there should be more farmers and less cities and mansions because you don't need fame and money to live a happy life.

  • jamariw-orv
    10/28/2016 - 01:08 p.m.

    i think we should vote on Fridays or Saturdays because i think people are most happiest and energized on these two days

  • samathau-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:09 p.m.

    Most Americans aren't farmers now because now we have supermarkets and not farmers markets.

  • angeliquep-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:10 p.m.

    Most Americans are not farmers now because they are much more jobs available.

  • jnyahp-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:11 p.m.

    Its cool how a country like America can keep something like a day sacred and included everyone in the thinking process. The daily American is busy during the week

  • neaves-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:12 p.m.

    Most Americans aren't farmers now because there is not as much money in farming and the soil is less fertile which makes there be a lower amount of land to farm on.
    Also nowadays most people can just grow their own backyard gardens.

  • grantl-bur
    10/28/2016 - 01:12 p.m.

    Most Americans are not farmers today because most Americans don't like to work that much. Also, most Americans wouldn't want to take a big risk by paying for the land.

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