What Are Midterm Elections?

On November 8, many people will be voting in midterm elections.

Have you seen signs for elections in people’s yards? Maybe you have seen or heard commercials for candidates. Midterm elections take place on Tuesday, November 8. What exactly are midterm elections?

Midterm elections are elections that take place during a president’s term of office. While voters do not elect a president during midterm elections, they do get to make some very important decisions. Citizens will choose a representative in the House of Representatives. In some states, citizens will also elect representatives to the United States Senate. There are also many states that are holding elections to decide who will be governor, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida. Many state and local positions will be decided, too.

Who gets to control Congress is an important issue in midterm elections. Congress has two parts, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. Congress and the president have checks and balances on each other. For example, the president can veto [reject] laws passed by Congress. The Senate can confirm or reject people the president nominates as judges. The House of Representatives can hold hearings about government issues. This means it is easier for the government to agree when Congress and the president belong to the same political party.

President Joe Biden is a Democrat. Democrats currently have a small majority in Congress. They are hoping to keep that majority or make it bigger. Republicans are hoping to gain control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Then, they can have more of a say in government.

Usually, fewer citizens vote during midterm elections. The opposite party from the president’s party often gains representatives. It is a chance for people who disapprove of a president to change things, while people who are satisfied may not vote. However, voter turnout has increased in recent years. Many races are expected to be very close. This November, it will be another chance for voters to make their voice heard.

What Can You Do?  Read local news sources to learn about the candidates in your area. Talk to adults about issues that are important to you.

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