Is Election Day a Public Holiday?
Election Day is a public holiday in the United States, according to Holidays 2020. Most businesses, stores, and shops as well as all schools, universities, and government offices remain closed on this day. Public Transportations also do not follow their usual route.
History of Election Day in The USA
Election Day history holds relevant significance and commemorates the beginning of its observance. Formerly, Presidential elections could be held at any time in a state or region, within a decisive 34-day duration, before the first Wednesday of December. This was convenient around 1792-1842, especially if the elections were held in November as by this time harvest was complete, and yet the severe winter would not have arrived. Around 1792, the choosing methods of various states differed accordingly; however, with time, they all agreed on some form of popular voting.
But as 1843 rolled in, and the Morse electric telegraph was developed, it brought about a significant technological change. Once it was successfully tested in 1844, it was evident that this heralded a new age of instant communication throughout the country. In the wake of the same, to avoid influencing the elections’ outcomes across states, it was deemed necessary to find a uniform date. As a result, in 1845, Congress declared that the Presidential elections will, from then onwards, be held on the “first Tuesday after the first of November” to synchronize the voting process with the original law of the 34-day duration. Soon, nearly all states agreed to hold all their elections on this date.
Public Life on Election Day in the US
Election Day in the US is a public holiday in a number of states, while in other places workers are permitted paid time-off. Voting Day 2020 is a declared holiday in Hawaii, New York, Kentucky, Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Montana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico. On the other hand, California and New York allow employees about two hours to go and vote, at the beginning or end of their shift if they do not have sufficient time otherwise. Various employers have set up rules for the day – ranging from permission to come in later after casting their vote, to taking the entire day off with pay.
Although Election Day has been set on a uniform date throughout the country for the presidential and congressional elections, many states also authorize early voting. Postal voting is one popular mode, allowed and encouraged in various states. Where Washington, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Hawaii host all their major elections through this format, sending ballot papers to the voters weeks earlier; unconditional early voting is allowed in 32 states and Columbia in person. All postal votes must arrive by Voting Day in any case.
Also, there is the method of unconditional absentee voting by mail which is permissible in 27 states and the District of Columbia and allowed with an excuse in 21 more. Absentee ballots are also set up in many places, where the person can choose from a variety of options to cast their vote when they don’t want to go to their allocated polling booth/area. These, of course, include postal voting, but also offers online voting and voting at a different booth.
When Is Election Day in The US?
Election day in the United States usually occurs anywhere between 2 November and 8 November. This year, it will be on 3 November. Every even-numbered year holds an election for one or more of the federal offices (which are President, Vice President, and the United States Congress) in Voting November. The Presidential elections occur every four years, and electors for both the President and Vice President are chosen at this time. Whereas, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate are elected every two years.
While the representatives are elected for two years, the US Senate has a six-year term. As a result, the US House of Representatives has an election every two years. On the contrary, a third of the Senators can be elected in any of the general elections. When there are no presidential candidates in a general election, then they are known as midterm elections. Terms begin in the January of the following year, and the swearing ceremony for the President and Vice President take place on Inauguration Day.
In addition to these, Voting Day in the US also hosts several state and local government office elections. Majorly, this came to be as a matter of convenience and reduction in expenses. These can either be held during the odd-years when no general elections are taking place or during the midterm even-numbered years. Also, in case a position opens up unexpectedly (the office is vacant due to unavoidable circumstances) then special elections can be set up.
Election Day Observances
|2019||Tue||5 November||Election Day||Observance|
|2020||Tue||3 November||Election Day||Observance|
|2021||Tue||2 November||Election Day||Observance|
|2022||Tue||8 November||Election Day||Observance|
|2023||Tue||7 November||Election Day||Observance|
|2024||Tue||5 November||Election Day||Observance|
|2025||Tue||4 November||Election Day||Observance|
1. Can I Vote Online?
Unfortunately, the federal elections held on Elections Day in the US do not allow for online voting. That is only for state local government elections.
2. What is Democracy Day?
Democracy Day is a proposed bill by John Conyers, a Democratic Representative of Michigan. If passed, this would allow a paid holiday for workers on Election Day in the US, every even-numbered year.
Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is Election Day in the USA in 2020? The date is 3 of November, Tuesday.
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