Voter walking into polling place (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

Ever wonder why the United States votes on a Tuesday in November?

It wasn’t always that way. For the first 15 presidential elections, each state chose its own voting day until improved communication caused worries that early states would influence later voters.

So, in 1845, Congress picked one day for everyone: the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Why Tuesday? Roads were poor or nonexistent. It could take a day to get to a polling place. Congress avoided forcing travel on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. Monday was the day of travel for voters who needed it.

Why November? Most Americans were farmers. In November the harvest was over. The worst winter weather was still ahead.

These days, the roads are good. Few Americans farm.

While some propose holding national elections on Saturday, the United States continues to vote on a Tuesday in November.

Want to know more about U.S. elections, including information about the televised debatesidentification requirements to vote and the importance of young people in the 2016 run for the White House? Here’s where you can learn about the process from start to finish, including the peaceful transition of power to the next president.

Graphic reading "Elections 2016" (State Dept./J. Maruszewski)