USLegal Newsletter October 2018 – Understanding Midterm Elections

Millions of Americans will go to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, to vote in the 2018 Midterm Elections. However, many people have already cast their ballot as most states now allow for absentee, early voting, or mail in voting according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A midterm election is general election that occurs in the middle or two years into the term of a president, hence the name mid-term.

During midterm elections, some members of the US Senate, all members of the House of Representatives, and many state and local positions are voted on. Since US senators serve 6-year terms, many of their re-election campaigns are held during midterm elections.

This year, all 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for election, 35 Senate seats are being contested, and there are 36 governors’ races in addition to various state and local elections.

The Constitution grants the states broad power to prescribe the times, places, and manner of holding elections and discretionary power includes supervision of voting, protection of voters, prevention of fraud and corrupt practices, counting of votes, duties of inspectors and canvassers, and publication of election returns.

Visit this link for additional voting guidance in your state.

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Legal Definitions

Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act is a federal law which suspended all literacy and character tests for voting in the U.S. It guarantees the U.S. citizen’s right to vote without discrimination. More

For more legal definitions, please visit our free online legal dictionary at