On Tuesday, citizens of the United States will head to the polls to cast their votes for the congressional representatives they want to serve in the upcoming midterm elections for 2022.
The fact that this election takes place smack dab in the midst of a four-year presidential term gives rise to the name “midterm.” It is seen as a barometer for the currently occupying president, which would be Joe Biden in this instance.
How do midterm elections work?
Votes are cast in US national elections to choose which candidates will represent each state in the nation’s capital of Washington, DC.
In the House of Representatives, which is the more representative chamber of the US Congress, the 50 states have each been divided into 435 districts based on their total population. On Tuesday, all 435 seats are up for election because of the fact that the term of office for these lawmakers is for two years.
In the Senate, the upper body of the United States Congress, each of the 50 states has a vote for two senators. Because senators serve staggered terms of six years each, elections to fill approximately one-third of the chamber’s seats are held every two years. There will be 35 open seats in the Senate that will be contested in 2022.
Even if people vote in all fifty states, the outcome of just a few key battleground elections will probably determine which party has control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In addition, governors of all 36 states are being elected this year. Although governors do not have a direct impact on politics in the nation’s capital, they do have a significant impact on politics within their own state and, frequently, on the members of their state who serve in Congress.
What exactly is at risk for POTUS Joe Biden?
The majority of seats in the House of Representatives are now held by Democrats, although only by a narrow margin. There are now 50 serving Republicans, 48 serving Democrats, and two serving Independents in the Senate. In her capacity as president of the Senate, Kamala Harris, who is also the Vice President, is permitted to cast a vote that breaks a tie.
It is highly unlikely that President Biden will be able to pass much legislation, if any legislation at all, during the second half of his term if the Democrats lose control of one or both houses of Congress. This is because it has been Republican policy for many years to oppose nearly all bills that originate from a Democratic White House.
What are the current issues?
The United States of America, along with the rest of the world, is currently struggling with surging inflation as well as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conservative politicians have also prioritised making social issues such as abortion, racial fairness, affirmative action, and LGBT rights central tenets of their campaigns.
In the face of allegations of electoral fraud and partisan gerrymandering from the Republican side, the concept of democracy itself has emerged as the most urgent concern for a significant number of Democrats. After the Supreme Court reversed a ruling that legalised abortion, many people, however, have made it a fundamental plank of their platforms to ensure that women have access to abortions.
When will the final result be available?
As a result of the prevalence of early voting and vote-by-mail options in many states, tallying the votes could take some time. While the results of certain races will be announced very quickly, others may only be determined for a few days or even weeks. In certain districts where the results of the election were exceptionally close, recounts may either be required by law or requested by the candidates.
The polls in the crucial state of Georgia, for instance, will shut at seven o’clock in the evening. EST (0000 GMT/UTC), although the polls in Pennsylvania, which is another battleground state, will shut at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT/UTC).
Arizona and Nevada are both significant states that are located further west, and the polls will close in those two states at nine o’clock at night. EST and midnight (GMT/UTC), respectively. EST accordingly (which is 0300 GMT/UTC).
FiveThirtyEight, a website that provides analysis of elections, predicted that the majority of the results would probably be in by three in the morning. EST on Wednesday (0800 GMT/UTC); however, the results from other states, like Nevada, may not be known until later if the races there are tight.