Voting on Tuesdays

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I voted yesterday along with a whopping 23% of the registered voters in the county where I live. In order to do so, I had to leave work.

Like all U.S. elections, it was held on a Tuesday because Congress decided 173 years ago that elections should happen on Tuesdays. Why? Because in 1845, the health of our economy mostly relied on the production and maintenance of crops and farmland. There were also no cars so it took many people a full day to travel to the county seat to vote. Congress agreed Tuesday worked best because it did not interfere with the Sabbath or “market day” which was held on Wednesdays.

Those reasons no longer make sense. Of course, Tuesday elections aren’t the sole reason for Americans’ repeated dismal voter turnouts. But a change is warranted if only one person who wanted to vote yesterday and the day of the week played any part in their not being able to do so.

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