A Brief History Of Our Elections
By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - According to Internet sources, in 1845 our nation was an agrarian society and it was decided to make the day for general elections of public officials on the first Tuesday in November because many farmers needed a full day to travel by horse-drawn vehicles to vote at the county seat.
Also, Tuesday didn’t interfere with the Sabbath or a market day, usually Wednesday.
In more recent years, there’s been an objection to Tuesdays because it’s a work day and could decrease voter turnout. Some unions and employers allow workers to come in late or leave early to vote.
Many states allow early voting and absentee voting is common, some requiring excuses. However, in 27 states, absentee voting is unconditional.
Up until 1971, 21 was the voting age; but the 26th amendment gave 18-year-old the right to vote, with the realization that those young men were risking their lives during the Vietnam War and deserved to have their voices counted.