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What Are Midterm Elections and Why Are They Important?

Americans turn out to vote in large numbers every four years, during presidential elections. The candidates are typically well known and voters are often affiliated with – and cast their vote for – their particular political party/candidate.

It’s a different story for midterm elections, though. These take place every two years and they can impact the nation just as much as the presidential election, but they do not elicit as much voting enthusiasm.

Midterm elections determine much of the leadership of our state and local government. During these off-year elections, Floridians choose their governor and members of the state cabinet, along with their representatives in the Florida legislature.

Polk’s representatives in the U.S. Congress are voted on during the midterms, as each member of the House of Representatives serves a two-year term. U.S. Senators, meanwhile, serve staggered six-year terms, so they are occasionally on the ballot in off years.

Decisions made by our local leaders have a tremendous impact on our day-to-day lives. During the midterm elections, voters also choose Polk County’s commissioners, who make decisions about property taxes, road improvements, emergency services and parks and recreation. A majority of the Polk County School Board seats are also up for election during the midterm election.

If you want to live in a community that reflects your values and provides the quality services that you think are important, midterm voting will help accomplish that.

To find out how to register to vote, to request a mail ballot, or to view a sample ballot visit



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