When choosing the most convenient month, farmers nixed both spring (due to planting) and summer (for tending the crops). Fall harvest was over by November, thus November became America's election month. This time of year was also conducive for traveling over unpaved roads, as most of the country was still experiencing mild weather.
But why is our election day not the first Tuesday, but the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November? According to NPR, lawmakers made this decision based on the American holy trinity: religion, business, and politics. They didn't want election day to fall on November 1st, since that's All Saints Day, the day that many businesses do the books from the preceding month, and the day when economic reports come out for the previous month, thereby influencing the election.
This tradition is widely viewed as antiquated, and many members of Congress and activists have advocated to move the now inconvenient voting day to a different date. In particular, a group called "Why Tuesday" was formed in 2005 to push for a weekend election day, since they say that would improve voter participation. But, for now, we vote on Tuesday. Watch the videos below to learn more about the U.S. electoral process.