The US presidential elections are currently held on Tuesday what would be required from a process and procedure point of view to have the election moved to Saturday?

For this question assume the change of day has the required support.


1 Answer 1


What would be required for the US presidential election to be moved from Tuesday to Saturday?

Change the law. Currently, the day for Presidential electors is fixed by law.

3 U.S. Code § 1 - Time of appointing electors

The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.

To have Representatives elected on the same day, another change is required.

2 U.S. Code § 7. Time of election

The Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November, in every even numbered year, is established as the day for the election, in each of the States and Territories of the United States, of Representatives and Delegates to the Congress commencing on the 3d day of January next thereafter.

No additional change would be required to move the day for electing Senators, since the day is related to the day used to elect Representatives.

2 U.S. Code § 1. Time for election of Senators

At the regular election held in any State next preceding the expiration of the term for which any Senator was elected to represent such State in Congress, at which election a Representative to Congress is regularly by law to be chosen, a United States Senator from said State shall be elected by the people thereof for the term commencing on the 3d day of January next thereafter.

Late in the 96th Congress and re-introduced in the 97th Congress, bills for changing the day to Sunday, temporarily, were proposed in both the House and Senate. Although hearings were held on these bills, there was no floor vote on either bill. Summary information for the House bill is shown. The summary for the Senate bill is identical.

H.R.84 - A bill to establish temporary provisions governing the day and times for the elections of Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, and electors of the President and Vice President.

Introduced in House (01/05/1981)

Establishes the Sunday after the first Monday in November in 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1988 as the day for election of Representatives and Delegates to the Congress.

Requires electors of the President and Vice President for 1984 and 1988 to be appointed on the Sunday after the first Monday in November. Specifies the hours during which polling places shall be opened for such presidential elections.

Requires the Federal Election Commission to report to Congress and the President on the amendments made by this Act.

Such bills may be enacted in the hope that improvement in the subject area will occur. If there is no improvement, the law will "sunset"; otherwise, a bill will be introduced to make the change permanent.

Remarks by Rep. Mario Biaggi concerning H.R.84 may be found in the Congressional Record. (2 minute read) The goal of the bill was to improve voter turnout.

Specifically, my bill would require that all general elections be held on Sunday, and all polls across the country open and close during the same 9-hour period of 12 to 9 p.m. (e.s.t.) in Presidential election years. The 6-year trial period would begin in 1982, with the Federal Elections Commission monitoring the impact of the changes on voter turnout.

See also:

What are the reasons for the date of Election Day?

  • 2
    But if The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, doesn't that mean that this would be the deadline for counting and certifying the vote results? It may be days or weeks after the general election until all states can formally appoint their electors.
    – gerrit
    Nov 5, 2020 at 8:48
  • 1
  • @gerrit - My previous comment addressed "appoint" but not the day of appointment. Currently, slates of electors are "appointed" prior to the election. The election, itself, selects the slate. Even in the cases of Maine and Nebraska, the electors are known beforehand. However, there may be some fuzziness, yet. This might be better suited to Law SE; that is, "What is the law?" rather than "Why is this the law?"
    – Rick Smith
    Nov 5, 2020 at 12:51
  • Is this answer actually about the election, or about the results of the election? IIRC the date of the Presidential Election is in the Constitution.
    – nick012000
    Nov 5, 2020 at 13:12
  • 1
    @nick012000 - The question is related to Art. I, Sec. 1, Cl. 4 - "The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States." The date on which the president takes office is fixed, as January 20th, in Amendment XX, Sec. 1
    – Rick Smith
    Nov 5, 2020 at 13:23

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