What to Know About the 2022 Illinois Midterm Elections
As spring approaches, we are moving into another election cycle—this time for the 2022 midterm elections! Midterm elections allow voters to make decisions on a variety of important federal, state, and local issues and ballot initiatives. Midterm elections happen during years where there is no Presidential election, allowing for a greater focus on other pressing federal, state, and local issues.
For the 2022 midterms, at the federal level, every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives (totaling 435 seats) and about a third of the seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to move legislation through both chambers of Congress. With so many Congressional seats up for election, midterms represent a significant opportunity to ensure that your voice and beliefs are represented in Congress when it comes time to vote on major issues and critical pieces of legislation. These midterm elections also have the potential to continue to shift demographics in Congress, increasing the number of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), women, and LGBTQ+ people elected to office. In 2021, 237 openly LGBTQ+ people ran for office with at least 83 of those LGBTQ+ candidates winning their race. BIPOC candidates also achieved historical milestones in elections all across the country in 2021. Having a more diverse Congress would more accurately reflect the immense diversity of this country, and having a wider array of lived experiences to draw from in Congress will help to produce more equitable legislation.
While federal elections often dominate the media, some of the most important and impactful midterm elections are the state and local midterm elections. These elections can have a major impact on your day-to-day life, influencing issues such as school funding, property taxes, law enforcement, and public health, just to name a few. At the state level, there are a number of Illinois Senate and House races happening this year. In addition, several other important state and local elected offices are also up for election, including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Supreme Court, and Intermediate appellate courts. There is also a ballot initiative in Illinois around state-wide collective bargaining rights.
Midterm elections also help determine representation in state and local court systems, which can have wide-ranging effects on how courts and local government agencies interpret and enforce non-discrimination and civil rights protections. With the recent rise of laws the infringe upon the rights of transgender people as well as laws aiming to suppress people’s ability to vote, it is more important now than ever to participate in these elections.
Even with these massively important issues on midterm ballots, voter turnout in midterm elections is traditionally low. In 2014, only 41.9% of eligible voters voted in midterm elections, the lowest voter turnout in four decades. However, we have seen recent increases voter turnout. In the 2018 midterm election, turnout was up among all demographics, giving the 2018 midterms the highest voter turnout in four decades with 53.4% of eligible voters participating. We need to continue to make our voices heard in the 2022 midterm elections!
The primaries for Illinois is happening June 28, 2022. This primary will help determine what initiatives move forward and what candidates end up on the ballot for the midterm election happening on November 8, 2022. To register to vote, receive information on voting by mail, find a polling location, or get updates on the primary and midterm election, you can go the Illinois State board of Elections. Here, you can find out information regarding Cook County, suburban Cook County and the whole of Illinois.
Contact info: If you’d like to learn more about this and other upcoming information on midterms, please reach out to CamilleE@howardbrown.org