So why not us?
As NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro explains in this recent post, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November was established for presidential elections in 1845, and later adopted for U.S. congressional elections. Back then, when America was a predominantly Christian agricultural society, this was actually deemed a convenient time. Sundays were out because of church, and farmers needed ample travel time to make it on horse or by foot to the county seat to cast their vote.
In early November, Montanaro adds, the weather was still usually mild in most parts of the country, and most farmers had completed their fall harvest by then.
As to why it wasn't the first November, Montanaro points to several reasons:
Nov. 1 is all Saints Day, observed by Roman Catholics; most merchants did their books from the previous month on the first; and members of Congress were concerned that the economic health of the previous month "might prove an undue influence on the vote."
Tradition aside, a growing number of voices are demanding a date change for America's elections. A group called Why Tuesday has for years been pushing for legislation that would move Election Day to the weekend. As Montanaro notes:"Some members of Congress have taken up the mantle. Reps. Steve Israel of New York and John Larson of Connecticut have repeatedly introduced the Weekend Voting Act, which would move voting from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday."
The act has resurfaced several times in the past decade, but been repeatedly killed in committee before making it to the House floor for a vote.