Today is Election Day, and polls are open now until 9:00 p.m. If you're registered, we encourage you to exercise your right to vote. How did Election Day just happen to fall on a Tuesday in November?

When I was growing up in Utica, Election Day was a holiday. Many businesses and government offices were closed to enable people to get to the polls, and alcohol was not allowed to be sold. All that has gone by the boards, and today is not a holiday and taverns and alcohol sales are open for business.

If you don't know where your local polling place is, contact the Oneida County Board of Elections online, or call:

"Russell J. Stewart

Democratic Commissioner

Phone: 315-798-5761

or

Rose Marie Grimaldi

Republican Commissioner

Phone: 315-798-5763"

Election Day has an interesting history. According to timeanddate.com:

"Election Day in the United States of America is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November 2 and November 8.

In 1792, a law was passed allowing each of the states to conduct presidential elections at any point in the 34 days before the first Wednesday in December. This was the date when the meetings of the Electors of the U.S. president and vice-president, known as the Electoral Colleges, were held in each state. A date in November or early December was preferable because the harvest would have been finished, but the most severe winter storms would not have begun.

In 1845 the United States Congress chose a single date for all national elections in all states. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen so that there would never be more than 34 days between Election Day and the first Wednesday in December."