Early voting has started in several states ahead of the 2022 midterm elections and voters are already taking action. According to data from election officials and the groups Edison Research and Catalist, more than 2 million voters have already cast their ballots to determine which party will control the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and several state governments.
The votes in swing states such as Georgia and Florida are crucial not just because they will help determine who runs Congress next year, but also because they will influence state policy on a wide array of issues, including education, climate change and abortion rights.
Earlier this week, President Biden encouraged people to head to the polls. “If you care about the right to choose, then you gotta vote,” he said. “That’s why in these midterm elections it’s so critical to elect more Democratic Senators to the United States Senate and more Democrats to keep control of the House of Representatives.”
The current Senate split is 50-50 between both parties and 35 seats on the ballot. In the House, Democrats currently control 220 U.S. House seats out of the 435, while Republicans have 212, There are three vacancies.
“There is a pretty wide expectation that the Republicans are going to take control of the House,” said FIU’s political journalism professor Gregg Birnbaum. “So, then that puts a lot of focus on the Senate races because we want to know, ‘Will the Democrats be able to hold the Senate…or will President Biden be looking at a Republican Congress?’”
Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 24 for most counties in Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.
For more stories on the election, check out the SFMN voter guide.