A big part of this, of course, stems from the simple fact that election day is held on a Tuesday, and if you are like most Americans of voting age, you more than likely have to work Tuesday. Some — including yours truly — argue that it would increase voter turnout (and thus effectively enfranchise more Americans) if election day was either:
- On a weekend
- Held over a period of several days
- A federal holiday
Some states recognize it as a civic holiday, and California law mandates that if you cannot get Election Day off work, you are allowed to vote in the two days preceding the election. While it’s true polls are open before 9 AM and typically close only at 8 PM, that ignores the fact that not everyone works a 9 to 5 job, and even if they do, lots of people have, like, children to take care of after work and can’t just drop everything and wait in line at their polling location.
The Constitution was written in 1787. When the Framers drafted it, only white, property-owning adult males could vote. It was fine for them to turn out on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, because they were not the ones, y’know, doing labor and keeping the economy puttering along. We should not idealize the time period the Constitution was drafted in, and clinging to an obsolete section of the Constitution (like the mandate on when to hold elections) is absurd.
The political concerns of the wealthy in the United States are vastly different from the concerns of the working class. When election law makes it more difficult for those of us who don’t live in the 1% to get out and vote, it results in disenfranchisement.