Nearly 2 Million People Preview Sample Ballots Ahead of Midterms

A voter casts their ballot at a polling station
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October 30, 2018

Nearly 2 million individuals have previewed their election ballot as voters prepare to head to the polls in the 2018 midterm elections.

A total of 1,944,593 individuals have used Ballotpedia's service this year to preview sample ballots for the state and federal elections to be held on Nov. 6, according to the nonprofit organization. Ballotpedia, a non-partisan online encyclopedia of American politics, had 103,095 sample ballot views on Monday alone.

The group's announcement comes as voters are expected to head to the polls for the first midterm election of the Trump presidency. This cycle, Republicans and Democrats are battling for control of 36 governorships, 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 33 seats in Senate, and countless other state and local offices.

Republicans, who are currently the majority party in Congress, are running against history, which has generally shown the president's party losing seats during the midterms. Democrats, on the other hand, hope a strong showing will energize the party's hopes of retaking the White House in 2020 when President Donald Trump runs for re-election.

Perhaps of greater importance than Congress are the thousands of state legislative races on the ballot this year. Control of state legislative chambers will play an important role in the apportionment of congressional districts for the next decade.

The high number of individuals viewing their sample ballots could signal increased interest and turnout in the upcoming midterms, a potentially deciding factor in election outcomes.

On Tuesday, the Harvard Institute of Politics released a poll indicating voter enthusiasm among young Americans, generally a Democratic constituency, was higher this year compared to 2010 and 2014. The poll found 40 percent of those surveyed between 18-29 years of age reported they "will definitely vote" this year.