Election Day

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(in the U.S.) the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November on which national elections are held for electors of the president and vice president in those years evenly divisible by four. On even years constituents elect members of the House of Representatives for two-year terms and one third of the Senate for six-year terms.
(often lowercase) any day designated for the election of public officials.
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Origin of Election Day

First recorded in 1640–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Election Day?

Election Day (when capitalized this way) is the name used in the U.S. for the day on which national elections are held.

The lowercase election day is used as a general term for any day that an election is held.

In the U.S., national elections involve the election of the president (on years divisible by four) and members of the House of Representatives and Senate (on even years).

However, Election Day also usually involves state and local elections. Voters typically vote on national, state, and local elections using the same ballot. Voting on Election Day has traditionally been done in person at polling places, but many places also allow early and mail voting.

Election Day is a holiday in some states, and some voting advocates have called for Election Day to become a national holiday to make it easier for everyone to vote.

When is Election Day?

In the U.S., Election Day (for national elections) is held on the Tuesday immediately after the first Monday in November. It’s not necessarily the first Tuesday in November—if November started on a Tuesday, for example, Election Day would fall on the second Tuesday.

In 2023, Election Day falls on November 7. In 2024, it falls on November 5.

More information and context on Election Day

In the U.S., the tradition of holding Election Day on a Tuesday in November dates back to 1845, when it was codified by law. The day is thought to have been chosen to accommodate farmers, particularly by avoiding the harvest season, market days, winter weather, and the necessity of traveling to vote during the weekend (since many observed Sunday as a day of worship and rest).

Today, many people often point out that holding election day during a weekday is often prohibitive for those who have to work, especially those who cannot afford to miss work. Voting advocates often cite statistics showing that this disproportionately affects people of color. Some have proposed making Election Day a federal holiday to make it easier for people to vote and to increase voter turnout. In addition, many voting advocates support early voting opportunities and voting by mail, which would allow people to vote without needing to go to a polling place on Election Day.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Election Day?

How is Election Day discussed in real life?

In the U.S., the capitalized term Election Day refers to the day that national elections are held—it’s always a Tuesday in November. The lowercase term election day can refer to any day on which an election is held.



Try using Election Day!

True or False?

Elections on Election Day can involve both national, state, and local offices.

How to use Election Day in a sentence