As Election Day draws near (3 days from now as I write), I was thinking of a graph I made for class earlier this semester showing the number of elections we hold across the country in a presidential cycle. I counted the number of unique House, Senate, and presidential primary dates across the states in 2016, and the graph below counts the running total.
For example, imagine a state has its congressional primaries on February 1 and its Democratic and Republican presidential primaries or caucuses on February 15. That would count as 2 unique dates where the state administered an election. For fun (and for real legitimate reasons), I added 50 to the total for the 50 elections administered across all states on November 8.
In 2016, we have elections pretty consistently from early February through the late summer, before a “brief” pause for the “general election period” between Labor Day and Election Day. I view this as a real triumph of democracy; we are consistently asked across the states to evaluate and advance candidates. Yes, we could hold a single national primary day for all congressional and presidential races, but what fun is there in that? Democracy is alive all year long in the graph below.