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Are Banks Open on Election Day?

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Though many believe Election Day should be a federal holiday where Americans get the day off to vote, the first Tuesday in November is not an official holiday. Nevertheless, are banks, the stock market, and other institutions open on Election Day? We'll answer those questions, as well as whether political ads can air on Election Day, below.

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Are banks open on Election Day?

Yes, banks and financial institutions will remain open on Election Day 2020. One reason for this is that Election Day isn't a federal holiday. Even in states where Election Day is a holiday, banks are still usually open and operational that day. 

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Federal holidays that the Federal Reserve observes include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Banks are closed on those days. 

Is the stock market closed on Election Day?

The U.S. stock market holidays include all Federal Reserve holidays each year. Again, since Election Day isn't a national holiday, it isn't a stock market holiday. The stock market will remain open on Election Day as usual. 

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Normal trading hours of 9:30 a.m. ET to 4:00 p.m. ET will continue on Nov. 3. Investors should expect ups and downs that day and beyond.

Dan Wantrobski, a strategist and associate director of research at Janney Montgomery Scott, said that stock market volatility will likely “remain with us up to and past the election this coming Tuesday, as multiple macro triggers remain overhead,” according to Kiplinger

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Can political ads run on Election Day?

Political ads can run on Election Day, but many platforms will shut down all political ads after the polls have closed. TechCrunch reported that Google won't run any political advertising on its platform after the polls close on Nov. 3. Google will offer election results in Google Search and Assistant through an AP partnership

The New York Times reported on the plans of three top social media platforms—Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter—to help ensure security during the 2020 election. “The companies have taken numerous steps to clamp down on falsehoods and highlight accurate and verified information.” 

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Facebook will have dozens of employees working on Election Day to locate and stop any efforts to “destabilize” the election. The company also will add a notification at the top of News Feeds to let users know that no winner has been declared, which will remain until results have been verified by Reuters or the Associated Press.

Facebook is also clamping down on political ads and plans to block such content after Nov. 3.

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Twitter has been banning political advertising and watching for the spread of misinformation leading up to the election. On Election Day, Twitter will also use technology to root out false claims and focus on highlighting reliable information. 

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"At least two news outlets will need to independently project the results before a candidate can use Twitter to celebrate his or her win,” according to The New York Times

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, hasn't changed any of its policies recently. However, YouTube will have teams monitoring for unusual activity that might impact the election. The company will also “feature real-time election streams from major news providers,” according to TechCrunch.

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