Election Day in United States
Quick FactsElection Day in the United States of America is the day on which popular ballots are held to select public officials.
|יום הבחירות בארצות הברית||Hebrew|
Election Day 2014Tuesday, November 4, 2014 (local in DE, HI, IL, IN, LA, MD, MI, MT, PA, RI, WV)
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 (local in New York)
Election Day 2015Election Day does not occur in 2015
List of dates for other years
Election Day in the United States of America is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November 2 and November 8. It is the day when popular ballots are held to select public officials. These include national, state and local government representatives at all levels up to the president.
What do people do?
On Election Day, citizens of the United States of America can vote by popular ballot for candidates for public offices at local, state and national levels. In even numbered years, federal elections are always held. In years divisible by four, presidential elections are always held. Elections for local and state officials may be held in odd or even-numbered years, depending on local and state laws.
The way in which people vote, depends on the state in which they live. In Oregon, all votes are cast by post and all votes have to be received at a given time on Election Day. In the state of Washington, nearly all people vote by post and the envelopes containing the voting papers have to be postmarked with the date of Election Day. In other states, people vote at voting stations, where long queues can form.
Election Day is not a federal holiday but it is a yearly or biennial holiday in some states (see table below article), including:
- West Virginia
Employees in some states have the legal right to have time off work to vote, and in some cases, without losing any pay.
In 1792, a law was passed allowing each of the states to conduct presidential elections at any point in the 34 days before the first Wednesday in December. This was the date when the meetings of the Electors of the U.S. president and vice-president, known as the Electoral Colleges, were held in each state. A date in November or early December was preferable because the harvest would have been finished, but the most severe winter storms would not have begun.
As long distance communication improved and became quicker with the advent of trains and telegraphs, allowing each state to conduct its elections at any point in a period of more than a month, became outdated. The results of the elections that were announced earliest could influence the outcomes of elections held later in the permitted period.
In 1845 the United States Congress chose a single date for all national elections in all states. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen so that there would never be more than 34 days between Election Day and the first Wednesday in December. Election Day is held on a Tuesday so that voters will not have to vote or travel on Sunday. This was an important consideration at the time when the laws were written and is still so in some Christian communities in the United States.
In 2008 Barack Obama was the first African American to be elected as president of the United States, 45 years after Martin Luther King Jr’s speech about equal opportunities. On Inauguration Day, which is on January 20 every four years, the president and vice-president of the United States of America are sworn in and take office.
Election Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday type||Where it is observed|
|Tue||Nov 3||1992||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 5||1996||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 7||2000||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 2||2004||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 4||2008||Election Day||State holiday||12 states|
|Tue||Nov 4||2008||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 2||2010||Election Day||State holiday||12 states|
|Tue||Nov 6||2012||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 6||2012||Election Day||State holiday||12 states|
|Tue||Nov 4||2014||Election Day||State holiday||DE, HI, IL, IN, LA, MD, MI, MT, PA, RI, WV|
|Wed||Nov 5||2014||Election Day||State holiday||New York|
|Tue||Nov 8||2016||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 8||2016||Election Day||State holiday||12 states|
|Tue||Nov 6||2018||Election Day||State holiday||12 states|
|Tue||Nov 3||2020||Election Day||Observance|
|Tue||Nov 3||2020||Election Day||State holiday||12 states|
Other holidays in November 2014 in United States
- All Saints' Day ―Saturday, November 1, 2014
- All Souls' Day ―Sunday, November 2, 2014
- Daylight Saving Time ends ―Sunday, November 2, 2014
- International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict ―Thursday, November 6, 2014
- Return Day Delaware ―Thursday, November 6, 2014
- World Science Day for Peace and Development ―Monday, November 10, 2014
- Veterans Day ―Tuesday, November 11, 2014
- World Pneumonia Day ―Wednesday, November 12, 2014
- World Diabetes Day ―Friday, November 14, 2014
- International Day for Tolerance ―Sunday, November 16, 2014
- World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims ―Sunday, November 16, 2014
- World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day ―Wednesday, November 19, 2014
- World Toilet Day ―Wednesday, November 19, 2014
- International Men's Day ―Wednesday, November 19, 2014
- Universal Children's Day ―Thursday, November 20, 2014
- Africa Industrialization Day ―Thursday, November 20, 2014
- World Philosophy Day ―Thursday, November 20, 2014
- World Television Day ―Friday, November 21, 2014
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women ―Tuesday, November 25, 2014
- Thanksgiving Day ―Thursday, November 27, 2014
- Robert E Lee's Birthday ―Friday, November 28, 2014
- Presidents' Day ―Friday, November 28, 2014
- Lincoln's Birthday/Lincoln's Day ―Friday, November 28, 2014
- Black Friday ―Friday, November 28, 2014
- American Indian Heritage Day ―Friday, November 28, 2014
- International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People ―Saturday, November 29, 2014
- First Sunday of Advent ―Sunday, November 30, 2014
- Perpetual yearly calendar - make yearly calendar for any year
- Perpetual monthly calendar - shows only one month at a time
- Custom calendar - make customized calendars