Rule for when U.S. Presidential Election is held?
September 14, 2004 8:12 AM   Subscribe

US election question: The US Presidential election is being held Nov. 2, 2004. Last election was on Nov. 7th. I was confused last time and this time because I swear that I remember learning that elections are always held on the second Tuesday of November. Anyone aware of whether that second Tuesday thing is a rule, and, if so, is there some historical origin to it? If it is a rule, anyone know why the last two elections were held on the first Tuesday of November?
posted by Seth to Law & Government (8 answers total)
 
U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clause 4:

"The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States."
posted by falconred at 8:21 AM on September 14, 2004


Thanks crunch.

I just can't shake the idea that I learned somewhere that it was on the Second Tuesday of November. And I searched for that, and found some resources that mentioned the "Second Tuesday" thing.

I am wondering if I am the only one who was indoctrinated by public schools to believe something that is incorrect.
posted by Seth at 8:25 AM on September 14, 2004


In school, I learned that it was the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 1998, the first Tuesday in November was the 1st, so the Presidential election was held on the 8th.
posted by zsazsa at 8:29 AM on September 14, 2004


Oops, I mean 1988.
posted by zsazsa at 8:30 AM on September 14, 2004


Maybe I was just having a brain fart.
But thanks to each of you for answering.
posted by Seth at 8:47 AM on September 14, 2004


Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday?

Congress wanted to make sure the election never fell on the first of November. November 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church (All Saints Day). In addition, many businesses tallied their sales and expenses and did their books for the previous month on the first of each month. Congress feared that an unusually good or bad economic month might influence the vote if it were held on the 1st.
From here.
posted by jpoulos at 9:04 AM on September 14, 2004


3 U.S.C. ยง1. Time of appointing electors:
The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.
posted by andrewraff at 9:21 AM on September 14, 2004


I strongly urge all my Republican brothers (and sisters) to go out and vote the 2nd Tuesday of November, November 9th. Four more years of President Bush won't happen unless we all pull together as a team!
posted by substrate at 12:22 PM on September 14, 2004


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