What Are Midterm Elections?

Voters voting in polling place
Midterm elections give voters a chance to vote on issues that are important to them.

Have you heard people talking about the elections? You may be aware that there is not a presidential election until 2020. So, what is everyone talking about? The elections taking place this year are called midterm elections.

Midterm elections are elections that take place in between presidential elections. Presidential elections happen every four years, so a midterm election occurs in the middle of each four-year term. During these elections, people vote on who will represent them in the House of Representatives. Some places will also vote on who will represent them in the Senate. Many state and local positions–including some governors–will also be decided.

These elections will take place in November, but an important part of the process happens between May and September. These are called the primary elections. In a primary election, voters narrow down the pool of candidates [people seeking political office]. There are two major political parties in the United States: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Primary elections determine which candidate will run during the November elections for each party.

Primary elections give voters an opportunity to find out what candidates think about important issues. For example, during the primaries, voters get an idea of what the candidate’s beliefs are about important matters like immigration and taxes. So, what can you do? Read local news sources to learn as much as you can about the candidates in your area.

What Do You Think? Why is it important to have a primary election before a final election?

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