Midterm elections: Voters will decide key House and Senate seats, as well as the governor of Illinois, among other things.

It’s election season, and the midterm elections are just around the corner. Republicans and Democrats are fighting for control of the House and Senate.

Illinois voters will choose key Senate and House seats, as well as a governor, among other things. However, when compared to presidential elections, midterm elections have historically had lower voter turnout.

We’ve broken down everything you need to know before Election Day on November 8.

“Midterms are really important because they decide control of government,” said Kumar Ramanathan, a GENForward research fellow. “Every midterm election determines who controls the House of Representatives and often can decide who controls the Senate.”

Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Currently, all 435 House seats are up for grabs, as are one-third of the Senate seats. These elected officials have a large influence over what legislation is passed and how policy is implemented.

“Joe Biden’s presidency started with the narrowest possible majority in the Senate,” Ramanathan explained.

Democrats are currently able to push more agenda items through, as well as legislation or bills—the documents that later become laws.

“Even losing one seat could mean a totally different kind of Biden administration,” Ramanathan said. “If the Democrats don’t control Congress, they will lose the ability to pass the president’s legislative priorities or their own legislative priorities.”

Midterm voters will decide who has the majority, despite the fact that these elections have historically had lower participation rates when compared to presidential elections.

“Presidential election campaigns are much more prominent,” Ramanathan pointed out.

However, new data suggest that midterm voting participation may be increasing. The November 2018 midterm elections had the highest national voter turnout in the last 40 years, according to the US Census Bureau.

Now, researchers are waiting to see how many people will participate in 2022.

“Predicting who’s going to vote and who might not vote is, is especially an uncertain game right now because of the unprecedented levels of engagement that we saw in 2018, especially relative to other midterm elections,” Ramanthan said. “We just don’t know if that’s a fundamental change, or if that’s an unusual exception.”

However, one thing is certain.

“During midterm elections, you choose who will serve as your state representative. People who will serve as your state senator. You get to choose the governor “Chicago Votes’ Stevie Valles said. “So there are a lot of people who wield significant power over your day-to-day lived experience. They’ll be installed in the office regardless of the difference, whether or not your voice is heard.”

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