In honor of that most American of days, election day, I present to you this election day junk.
Some quick election day facts:
Clause 4 of Article II of the US Constitution states, "The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States." While this actually refers to Presidential elections, it has been widely construed to mean general election days as well.
Congress has long set the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November tor this purpose. Why you might ask? Wikipedia states: "An election date in November was seen as useful because the harvest would have been completed (important in an agrarian society) and the winter storms would not yet have begun in earnest (a plus in the days before paved roads and snowplows)... In 1845, the United States was largely an agrarian society. Farmers often needed a full day to travel by horse-drawn vehicles to the county seat to vote. Tuesday was established as election day because it did not interfere with the Biblical Sabbath or with market day, which was on Wednesday in many towns."
Over 100 million Americans are estimated to vote today in races ranging from all 435 house seats to 37 Senate seats (a number made larger due to the resignation of some senators to either become President/VP or serve as members of the President's Cabinet, such as Hillary Clinton) and 37 governor's races.
The polls will close at the following times today (all times Pacific) and you may track results at any major news site
Note: Many states span multiple time zones (such as IN, FL and KY) so the times listed below are the times the final polls in a state close and so the networks can then report/project results.
4 PM-IN, KY, SC, VA, GA, VT.
4:30 PM-NC, OH and WV
5 PM-FL, CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, TN, AL, IL, MS, MO and OK.
6 PM-NY, RI, MI, MN, WI, CO, NE, NM, SD, TX and WY.
7 PM-IA, ND, KS, MT, UT, NV and AR.
8 PM-OR, CA, WA, ID,
9 PM-AK and HI
For a good run-down on the key races by hour, check Nate Silver's take here: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/the-ultimate-hour-by-hour-district-by-district-election-guide/
Enjoy history in the making and be sure to vote!