Why is Election Day on a Tuesday in November?

Oct 22, 2020, 8:38 AM | Updated: 10:05 am
Election day...
FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2020 file photo, Alexandria, Va., residents wait in a socially-distanced line to cast their ballots for the November presidential election on first day of early voting in Virginia, at the Voter Registration Office in Alexandria, Va. A severed fiber optic cable shut down Virginia's online voter registration system Oct. 13 the last day to register before the November general election. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP, File)
(John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP, File)

Why can’t American voters chose a warm day in June to vote? Why is it always in November when it can be downright chilly or even snowy?

How Election Day was set

Election Day was established by Congress back in 1845; it’s always the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed in each State on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November of the year in which they are to be appointed.”

So even in an emergency — like a pandemic — neither the president nor his staff can postpone, delay or reschedule the election,  according to a 2004 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.


Back in May, White House senior adviser (and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner suggested to TIME magazine that it’s “too far in the future to tell” whether the election will take place on Nov. 3 as scheduled, adding “it is not my decision to make,” according to CNN.

While federal law sets the day of the election, states regulate and conduct the elections themselves.

Voting in a pandemic

During the previous pandemic in the United States, only about 40 percent of eligible U.S. voters cast their ballots in a midterm election on Nov. 5, 1918, compared with 50 percent in the previous midterm.

Republicans won control of both the House and Senate for the first time since 1908, marking a major defeat for President Woodrow Wilson, his foreign-policy agenda and his fellow Democrats trying to hold on to control of Congress during World War I.

Today’s Top Stories

Your Voice, Your Vote

ballot count amendments utah...
Lindsay Aerts

County clerks report more poll watchers, scrutiny ahead of Utah primary

Ahead of the 2022 Utah Primary election, clerks Salt Lake and Utah counties are reporting more poll watchers are serving as watchdogs.
20 days ago
Utahns could get a tax cut....

Utah Senate passes a tax cut for Utahns, Gov. Cox says he will sign it

The Utah Senate just unanimously passed a bill, giving Utahns a big tax cut. People in the state could see $193 million back in taxes.
5 months ago
utah poll unfavorable to president biden...
Mary Richards

New poll shows low favorability in Utah for President Biden

The Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll shows that 45% of Utah residents have a favorable opinion of President Joe Biden, while 3% aren’t sure.
1 year ago
Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., read the final certifica...

Biden win confirmed after violent pro-Trump protestors storms US Capitol

Congress has confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the presidential election winner, hours after violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.
2 years ago
president trump trial...
ZEKE MILLER and JILL COLVIN Associated Press

Trump says his term is ending, transition will be orderly

President Donald Trump says there will be an “orderly transition on January 20th” now that Congress has concluded the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
2 years ago
(Some of the flags and signs outside the Utah State Capitol.  Credit: Paul Nelson)...
Paul Nelson

Hundreds participate in “Stop The Steal” rally at Utah State Capitol

Hundreds of President Trump’s supporters in Utah gather on the Capitol grounds to protest what they call the stealing of the presidential election. 
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Why is Election Day on a Tuesday in November?