Nov. 3 is Election Day, and while many people have voted by mail or in early voting this year, today is the last chance for people in the United States to fill out their ballot.
In honor of Election Day, here are seven facts about elections:
1. Elections have been around more than a thousand years as a way to select leaders. Citizens of ancient Greece and ancient Rome both voted for their political rulers, in some of the oldest forms of democracy.
2. Suffrage, or the right to vote, has not always been granted to everyone. In the United States, Black Americans won the right to vote after the Civil War, and women didn’t get the right to vote until 1920.
3. In the U.S., there are two main political parties: Democrats and Republicans, who have dominated since the 1850s. However, there are several other minor parties, the strongest of which include the Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties.
4. The first president, George Washington, was not a member of any political party. And today, many voters choose not to identify with any political party.
5. The writers of the Constitution did not plan for political parties, and in fact, some were strongly against them. Nevertheless, political groups formed on their own, dating as far back as the 1790s with the Federalist Party.
6. While many people like to share who they will vote for, the voting booth is private and no one but you can see who you pick.