Do most developed countries hold their elections on the weekend?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
By Austin Tannenbaum

Most developed countries hold elections on a Saturday or Sunday.

A Pew Research study from 2018 found that "27 of the 36 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development hold their national elections on the weekend, while two others (Israel and South Korea) hold elections on weekdays but make those days national holidays so economic hardship won’t be a barrier to electoral participation."

In the U.S., elections are usually held on a Tuesday. This, combined with limited polling places and hours and registration rules that vary from state to state, appears to inhibit voter turnout. U.S. turnout in 2016 ranked 30 out of the 35 OECD countries for which data was available. Proposals to boost voter turnout in the U.S. include declaring Election Day a holiday, automatically registering citizens to vote and allowing every U.S. citizen to vote by mail.

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