November 6 is election day, 2018... although it might oughtta be renamed "tabulation day" as "early" voting is allowed in almost every jurisdiction. By law, since 1845, federal elections "occur" on the "first Tuesday after the first Monday in November". Ever wonder why? According to Wikipedia,
A uniform date for choosing presidential electors was instituted by the Congress in 1845. ... The actual reasons, as shown in records of Congressional debate on the bill in December 1844, were fairly prosaic. The bill initially set the 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 electors are required to meet in their state capitals to vote) would be more than 34 days, in violation of the existing Electoral College law. So, the bill was reworded to move the date for choosing presidential electors to the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a date scheme already used in New York. The period between Election Day and the first Wednesday in December is always 29 days. The effect of the change was to make November 2 the earliest day on which Election Day may fall.
In 1845, the United States was largely an agrarian society. Farmers often needed a full day to travel by horse-drawn vehicles to the county seat to vote. Tuesday was established as election day because it did not interfere with the Biblical Sabbath or with market day, which was on Wednesday in many towns.
"The franchise" is the most important right in any democracy, since it determines who runs the government, yet it is a right exercised in the United States by one of the lowest populations of modern democracies. The term "democracy" first appeared in ancient Greek political and philosophical thought in the city-state of Athens during classical antiquity. The word comes from demos
, "common people" and kratos
, strength. Think about that for a moment. The strength of the Nation is in its people. If the people don't exercise that right, we lose it.
Since the inception of the United States, there has been a continuous extension of the franchise - the right to vote. Initially, only white, male property owners could vote. It took more than 100 years before it was extended to non-whites, and nearly two hundred before women enjoyed "suffrage". Four Constitutional Amendments extended the franchise regardless of
"Race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (15th Amendment, 1870);"On account of sex" (19th Amendment, 1920);"By reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax" for federal elections (24th Amendment, 1964); "Who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age" (26th Amendment, 1971)
Now, however, we are entering a period when a significant effort is underway to reverse this process, both directly and indirectly. The question of the age is: what are we going to do about it?
Vote as if your future depends on it.
** It’s time to make Election Day a national holiday!
There should be flags, bunting, high school bands, and beauty contests! Fireworks when the polls close! This should be the beer drinking holiday of all beer drinking holidays! The Fourth Of July on steroids...Every two bit carnival in the country should be set up in every town that hires two bit carnivals on Patriotic Holidays. Bake sales, chili cook offs, live bands and foodtrucks! Car shows, bicycle races, and pet parades.
This is not a celebration of history, it's a celebration of our future. As important as the past might be, our future is far far more important.
Like the Olympics, it only comes around every other year and we choose our finest to go and represent us!
Election night coverage needs to lose the somber nervous chitchat of newsroom talking heads, the worrisome whining of sour faced interviews of nobody in particular and the bewildered excitement when the numbers start rolling in.
Let's turn that boring crap into a game show atmosphere with more glitter and glitz than a Superbowl half time show. More drama than a reality show, and better ratings than any of them. There will be winners and losers across the country, let's hear their stories and meet their families, join with the winners in their joy and the and crushed hopes of the losers. This could be big and it could save our asses as a country because we need to start acting like we really care about our own futures.
“Majorities in both parties favor the idea of making Election Day a national holiday, though Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor this,” says a new Pew Research Center poll of 10,000 Americans that revealed that, indeed, 59 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats agree with the idea.
Legislation favoring elections as holidays have been around for a while. Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan introduced a bill in 2005 to designate “Democracy Day” as an election holiday; it drew 110 co-sponsors, all Democrats. Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont repeated the call in 2014.
“Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote. While this would not be a cure-all, it would indicate a national commitment to create a more vibrant democracy,” Mr. Sanders said at the time.
Democratic Reps. Donald McEachin of Virginia and Anna G. Eshoo of California introduced the “Election Day Holiday Act” just last month.
The election holiday mood is elsewhere. A recent USA Today op-ed from Archon Fung and Jane Mansbridge, both Harvard University political professors, suggests a new election holiday called Citizen Day, insisting that voting should be “a celebration, not a chore.”
So why isn't election day a holiday? The obvious reason is that the elephant in the room(I'm looking at you GOP) doesn't really want people to vote. If they had their way it would still be the landed gentry only who had any say in the affairs of government. But Republicans are a patriotic bunch, and they like beer as much if not more than Democrats. If the media pitched this a little harder, if it got mentioned more often then I believe that it could happen. There would be some nut and bolt changes...a three day weekend with "Election Day" on Monday and all of the polls open all weekend would be my suggestion if anyone thought to ask...