Your Cheat Sheet to Midterm Elections

With midterms coming up soon, political issues are on voters’ minds, but not everyone knows how the midterm election works or the importance it has for our government.

Midterm elections are for Congress — the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Congressional elections take place during even years, and the election in between presidential election years is known as the midterm.

In every midterm, about one-third of the Senate seats and all 435 House seats are voted on. This year, there are 35 Senate seats up for election.

Those voted into the House of Representatives have two-year terms, and are voted in based on districts within the state. Indiana has nine districts. Clark County is in the ninth district. The two candidates running for the ninth district House seat are incumbent Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth and Democrat challenger Liz Watson.

The Senate has 100 total members who serve six-year terms. The seats being voted on this year include one of the two seats for Indiana. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly is running against the Republican challenger Mike Braun, and the Libertarian challenger Lucy Brenton this November.

“Midterm elections are a referendum on the President. If voters don’t like what a president is doing, midterms can change control of one or both houses of Congress,” said Aaron Dorman, a government teacher at Jeffersonville High School.

The midterm election usually attracts a lower turnout of voters compared to the  presidential election, because not everyone thinks it is as important. If you are eligible to vote you should; the midterm election, just like the presidential election, is an opportunity to change the majority party in one of the three houses of the federal government.

By Meredith Shepherd

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