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Encyclopedia > Election Day (United States)

Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the selection of public officials by popular ballot. It occurs on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November (the Tuesday between November 2 and November 8, inclusively). Federal (or national) elections are always held every even numbered year. Many state and local government offices are also elected on Election Day, some during odd numbered years and others during even numbered years, but this varies according to state and local law. The United States general elections of 2007, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, are off-year elections in which no members of the Congress are standing for election. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The 2006 United States midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. ... is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


In Federal elections, all members of the House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms together with one-third of the Senate for six-year terms. In years with a presidential election (years that are evenly divisible by four), electors for President and Vice-president are also chosen according to the method determined by each state. Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States... Electoral votes by state/federal district, for the elections of 2004 and 2008 The United States Electoral College is a term used to describe the 538 President Electors who meet every 4 years to cast the electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States; their votes represent...


Congress has mandated a uniform date for Presidential (3 U.S.C. 1) and Congressional (2 U.S.C. 1, 2 U.S.C. 7) elections, though early voting is nonetheless authorized in many states. In Oregon, where all elections are vote-by-mail, all ballots must be received by a set time on Election Day, as is common with absentee ballots in most states (except overseas military ballots which receive more time by Federal law). In the state of Washington, where most counties are vote-by-mail (and in the others most votes are cast by mail as permanent absentee ballots), ballots need only be postmarked by Election Day. Early voting, or vote banking, not to be confused with absentee voting, allows a voter to cast a ballot in front of an elections official before the official poll date. ... Official language(s) (none)[1] Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with postal voting. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Postal voting. ... For the capital city of the United States, see Washington, D.C.. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation). ...


Election Day is a legal holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. Some other states have laws that allow workers to take time off from employment without reprisal, and often without loss in pay. Democratic Representative John Conyers of Michigan recently introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would make Election Day a national holiday, Democracy Day. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... This article is about the U.S. State of Delaware. ... Official language(s) English, Hawaiian Capital Honolulu Largest city Honolulu Area  Ranked 43rd  - Total 10,931 sq mi (29,311 km²)  - Width n/a miles (n/a km)  - Length 1,522 miles (2,450 km)  - % water 41. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,407 sq mi (32,133 km²)  - Width 101 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37° 53′ N to 39° 43′ N  - Longitude 75° 03′ W to 79° 29... Official language(s) English Capital Helena Largest city Billings Area  Ranked 4th  - Total 147,165 sq mi (381,156 km²)  - Width 255 miles (410 km)  - Length 630 miles (1,015 km)  - % water 1  - Latitude 44°26N to 49°N  - Longitude 104°2W to 116°2W Population  Ranked... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the state. ... Official language(s) English de facto Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Greater Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... John Conyers, Jr. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Largest metro area Metro Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... Democracy Day is the tentative name of a proposed federal holiday in the United States. ...

Contents

History

By federal law since 1792, Congress permitted the states to conduct their presidential elections (or otherwise to choose their Electors) anytime in a 34 day period[1] before the first Wednesday of December, which was the day set for the meeting of the Electors of the U.S. president and vice-president (the Electoral College), in their respective states.[2] An election date in November was seen as useful because the harvest would have been completed (important in an agrarian society) and the winter storms would not yet have begun in earnest (a plus in the days before paved roads and snowplows). However, the problems borne of this arrangement were obvious and were intensified by improved communications via train and telegraph: the states that voted later could swell, diminish, or be influenced by a candidate's victories in the states that voted earlier. In close elections, the states that voted last might well determine the outcome.[3] Electoral votes by state/federal district, for the elections of 2004 and 2008 The United States Electoral College is a term used to describe the 538 President Electors who meet every 4 years to cast the electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States; their votes represent...


A uniform date for chosing presidential Electors was instituted by the U.S. Congress in 1845.[4] Many theories have been advanced as to why the Congress settled on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.[5] The actual reasons, as shown in records of Congressional debate on the bill in December 1844, were fairly prosaic. The bill initially set the national day for choosing presidential Electors on "the first Tuesday in November," in years divisible by four (1848, 1852, etc.). But it was pointed out that in some years the period between the first Tuesday in November and the first Wednesday in December (when the Electoral College met) would be more than 34 days, in violation of the existing Electoral College law. So, the bill was amended to move the national date for choosing presidential Electors forward to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a date scheme already used in the state of New York.[6] Congress in Joint Session. ...


As for the day of the week chosen, Sunday was ruled out because it was the Sabbath. An election on Monday might require travel on Sunday, and so was also ruled out. Tuesday had no problem. For other uses, see Sabbath. ...


Logistics

There are tens of thousands of voting precincts in the United States, each of which must be supplied and staffed with election judges on Election Day, usually a workday in most of the country. A precinct is generally the lowest-level minor civil division in the United States. ... An election judge (or poll worker in some states) is an official responsible for the proper and orderly voting in local precincts. ...


Objections

Many social activists oppose this date, believing that it decreases voter turnout, since it is part of the workweek. Many advocate making election day a federal holiday or allowing voters to cast their ballots over two or more days. The United Auto Workers union has negotiated making Election Day a holiday for its workers at the U.S. domestic auto manufacturers. Social activists are people who act as the conscience and voice of many individuals within a society. ... Voters lining up outside a Baghdad polling station during the 2005 Iraqi election. ... The legal workweek varies from nation to nation, and its definition is usually heavily influenced by the predominant religion of the country, or by colonial history. ... In the United States, a Federal holiday is a holiday recognized by the United States Government. ... The United Auto Workers (UAW), headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, officially the United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union, is one of the largest labor unions in North America, The UAW has approximately 540,000 active members and over 500,000 retired members in the United States, Canada...


In response to this, many states have implemented early voting, which allows the voters to cast ballots, in many cases up to two weeks early. Also, all states have some kind of absentee ballot system. The state of Oregon, for example, performs all major elections through mail-in ballots that are sent to voters several weeks before Election Day. Some companies will let their employees come in late or leave early on Election Day to allow them an opportunity to get to their precinct and vote. Early voting, or vote banking, not to be confused with absentee voting, allows a voter to cast a ballot in front of an elections official before the official poll date. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Postal voting. ... Official language(s) (none)[1] Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with postal voting. ...


Federal elections

Elective offices of the U.S. government are filled by Election Day balloting, for terms starting in January of the following year, specifically:

Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government, the person who is, in the words of Adlai Stevenson, a heartbeat from the presidency. ...

State elections

Elective offices of most U.S. states are also filled on Election Day, but different states choose different patterns; every odd numbered year, for at least some offices, is a popular choice. Most states now hold elections for governors in those even-numbered years when there is not a presidential election, in part to stimulate a higher voter turnout for "off-year" Congressional elections. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of...


Local elections

Elective offices of municipalities, counties (in most states), and other local entities (such as school boards and other special-purpose districts) have their elections subject to rules of their state, and in some states, they vary according to choices of the jurisdiction in question. For instance, in Connecticut, all towns, cities, and boroughs hold elections in every odd-numbered year, but as of 2004, 16 have them on the first Monday in May, while the other 153 are on Election Day. In Massachusetts, the 50 cities are required to hold their elections on Election Day, but the 301 towns may choose any date, and most have traditionally held their elections in early spring, after the last snowfall. Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[3] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[2] Area  Ranked 48th  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ...


References

  1. ^ The bill originally specified a period for the states to choose their Electors. Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 2nd Congress, 1st Session, p. 278.
  2. ^ Statutes at Large, 2nd Congress, 1st Session, p. 239.
  3. ^ William C. Kimberling, The Electoral College, Federal Election Commission, 1992, pp. 6-7
  4. ^ Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721.
  5. ^ The theories include that it was placed to avoid the Catholic All Saints Day, (Nov. 1), a holy day of obligation. See InfoPlease.com and U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  6. ^ Congressional Globe, House of Representatives, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 14-15.

This article is about the Christian holiday. ... In the Roman Catholic Church, the Holy Days of Obligation are the days, other than Sundays, on which the faithful are required to attend Mass. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Election Day (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (767 words)
Election Day in the United States is the day when polls most often open for the election of certain public officials.
Election Day occurs on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November every year, which is always the Tuesday between November 2 and November 8, inclusively.
Election Day is a legal holiday in some states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Ben's Guide (6-8): The Election Process -- Election of the President & Vice President -- Primary Election (285 words)
The reason that November was chosen was that the United States was largely a rural and agrarian nation.
Tuesday was chosen partly because it gave a full day's travel time between Sunday, which was widely observed by religious groups as a strict day of rest (except for traveling) and voting day.
Two days were given for travel to give voters the time to travel by foot or by horse to the nearest polling place, usually the county's political center (seat).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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