What are midterm elections?
Midterm elections are general elections that occur at the midpoint of a president’s four-year term in office. Just like Presidential elections, they are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This year the midterm election will be held on November 8th, 2022. Even though there is no Presidential race on the ballot, there are many important candidates for you to vote for. Members of the Senate and House of Representatives are up for elections in the midterms, as well as many local elections including gubernatorial (governor) races. Additionally, because there are no Presidential candidates on the ballot, midterm elections have the lowest voter turnout.
Why are midterm elections important?
Although most of the national attention is focused on Presidential elections, a majority of legislation that will impact your life, is passed at the state level, not the federal level, which is why the midterms are so important. After the events that have occurred over the past year, it is more evident than ever that local elections are what cause change. More specifically, the overturning of the Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, puts abortion rights into the states’ hands. This means, the candidates that you are voting for in the midterms will have the ability to decide whether or not abortions are legal, and to what extent they are legal, in your state.
What if I don’t know anything about the candidates?
Not feeling educated about those running in your state is a very common excuse for not voting. However, you are in the right place! There is an extensive amount of resources online for you to learn about the candidates on your ballot and what issues they care about. In most states, you can even get a sample ballot to look over before the election. One website that can be helpful to learning about the candidates is https://ballotpedia.org. It is very important that you feel confident about your choices before checking off your ballot and there are many ways to ensure that you feel this way. But, it is your job to take the time and educate yourself before you get to the polls. Below are additional resources to help you learn about the midterms and who will be on your ballot in November.
Congressional, State, and Local Elections Information
Midterm Voting Guide
Find Your Sample Ballot
Midterm Participation Guide