Elections for national office in America are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. But why? John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight took a stab at answering that question in a web video this weekend.
“It’s just one of those mysteries no one can figure out, like where’s the remote? Or, why doesn’t Jason Bourne just Google himself?” said a voice-over artist in the video. As the clip explains, the reason Election Day lands on a Tuesday is because of an 1845 law designed to allow people the chance to vote without interrupting the Sabbath.
“Yes, we vote on Tuesdays because of the Sabbath. Making voting day the only thing in American life still scheduled around Sundays, other than the operating hours of Chick-Fil-A and new episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos,” explains the clip.
From there, the Last Week Tonight video dives into the issues people have with voting on Tuesdays, including long lines and conflicts with work. “All the wait times of Disneyworld, all the fun of the DMV.”
So what are the solutions? “Expand early voting, move election day to a weekend, or keep it where it is and declare it a national holiday,” offers the Last Week Tonight video. Not that any of those things will happen in the near future.
“All of which returns us to the question: Voting on Tuesday, how is this still a thing?”
Watch the video below.