Why do people wear white on election day?

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Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump have been campaigning for months, hoping to win America’s vote to be the nation’s next President. Mr Trump is seeking a second term in office, but Democrat Mr Biden is currently the favourite according to the latest election polls. Now the nation anxiously awaits the results of the election, with millions heading out to cast their votes today.

Why do people wear white on election day?

In 2016 many people opted to wear white on election day to support presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton.

Ms Clinton would have been the US’ first female president had she won the election, but she lost to Donald Trump.

Wearing white is a symbolic nod to the women who fought for women’s suffrage at the beginning of the 20th Century.

In the campaign to get women the right to vote, women wore white while protesting.

British suffragette Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence decided the sufragette’s colour scheme in 1908.

The colour scheme included white for purity, purple for loyalty and dignity and green for hope.

Labelled the #WearWhiteToVote movement on social media, people shared pictures of themselves at polling stations across the US dressed in white four years ago.

While campaigning Ms Clinton also wore a number of all white outfits in symbolism of women’s suffrage.

On July 28, 2016, Ms Clinton wore an all-white pantsuit to accept the Democratic presidential nomination.

She also wore a white outfit for her third televised presidential debate against Republican rival Donald Trump.

When Ms Clinton lost the election, she stated in her concession speech that the “highest and hardest glass ceiling” had not yet been shattered.

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She said: “And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

“Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

Although there isn’t a female presidential candidate in this year’s election, people may still wear white to the polling station in tribute to the fight for women’s suffrage, or in honour of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

What are the rules on dressing for election day?

All US states have rules about campaigning at polling stations.

In some states voters cannot wear t-shirts or clothing endorsing or opposing a political candidate.

“Passive electioneering” is banned in many states, although in some states these rules are not in place and voters can wear clothing with political messages.

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