November 4, 1845
Americans Observed the First Uniform Election Day
In some countries around the world, the people do not get to elect their leader. As late as 1816, the citizens of nine states in the U.S. were not able to vote in presidential elections. Americans observed the first uniform Election Day on November 4, 1845. That means that all states voted, selecting their presidents on the same day. This increased the power of political parties, like the Democrats and Republicans, and strengthened the democracy of the process. What are electors?
Electors are people who represent their state and vote for a president. They are informed citizens chosen by the political parties. Every state has a different number of electors, depending on the size of its population. For example, California has 54 electoral votes while New Mexico has only five. A state’s electors usually vote the same way as the state’s citizens. However, only white male citizens could vote for many decades.
African American men earned the right to vote in 1870 with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, and all women earned the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. People all through the world fought, and continue to fight, for the right to vote. Why is it so important to be able to vote? Try discussing this question with friends and family.