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Would You Take Off Election Day?

Yesterday I got a friendly email from the Obama campaign asking me to take next Tuesday off. The campaign says it needs volunteers (no experience required) to make calls, knock on doors, and make sure voters get to the polls.

In many countries, election day is a holiday, or it falls on the weekend. But in 1845, Congress selected the Tuesday after the first Monday in November as the nationwide day for elections. Tuesday was chosen because farmers needed a day to travel to the polling place, a day to vote, and a day to get back. Factoring in the Lord's Day, that left Tuesday and Wednesday. Since Wednesday was market day, only Tuesday would work!

If it weren't for the 19th century agrarian society, Obama wouldn't have a need to ask volunteers to take a day off from work or school. Tell me — even on such short notice, would you take Nov. 4 off for your candidate?

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