Elections

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This is a collaborative knowledge base; feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.

2017 Elections[edit]

Go to the Upcoming Elections section on your State page for information on how to register to vote.

Go to the section in our Tools of Resistance page on trainings to run for office for tips for running for political office.

Go to the Elections/Campaigning section in Tools of Resistance and Elections in People and Organizations for ways to resist.

List of 2017 Elections

JURISDICTION STATE RACE(S) FILING DEADLINE 1ST ROUND/PRIMARY 2ND ROUND/GENERAL
Birmingham Alabama Mayor (D), City Council Jul 7 Aug 22 Oct 3
CA-34 California Congress (D) Feb 9 Apr 4 Jun 6
Los Angeles California Mayor (D), City Council Dec 9 Mar 7 May 16
Miami Florida Mayor (R), City Council Sep 23 Nov 7 Nov 21
St. Petersburg Florida Mayor (D), City Council Jun 23 Aug 29 Nov 7
Atlanta Georgia Mayor (D), City Council Sep 25 Nov 7 Dec 5
GA-06 Georgia Congress (R) Feb 15 Apr 18 Jun 20
KS-04 Kansas Congress (R) Apr 11
New Orleans Louisiana Mayor (D), City Council Jul 14 Oct 14 Nov 18
Boston Massachusetts Mayor (D), City Council May 23 Sep 26 Nov 7
Detroit Michigan Mayor (D), City Council Apr 25 Aug 8 Nov 7
Minneapolis Minnesota Mayor (D), City Council Aug 15 Nov 7
St. Paul Minnesota Mayor (D) Aug 15 Nov 7
Omaha Nebraska Mayor (R), City Council Mar 3 Apr 4 May 9
Henderson Nevada Mayor (D), City Council Feb 2 Apr 4 Jun 13
Manchester New Hampshire Mayor (R), City Council Jul 21 Sep 19 Nov 7
Jersey City New Jersey Mayor (D), City Council Sep 5 Nov 7 Dec 5
Statewide New Jersey Governor (R), State Senate (D), State Assembly (D) Apr 3 Jun 6 Nov 7
Albuquerque New Mexico Mayor (R), City Council Aug 8 Oct 3 Not set
Buffalo New York Mayor (D) Jul 18 Sep 12 Nov 7
Nassau County New York County Executive (R), County Council Jul 18 Sep 12 Nov 7
New York City New York Mayor (D), City Council Sep 12 Nov 7
Oyster Bay New York Town Supervisor (R), Town Council Jul 18 Sep 12 Nov 7
Westchester County New York County Executive (R) Jul 18 Sep 12 Nov 7
Charlotte North Carolina Mayor (D), City Council Jul 21 Sep 12 Nov 7
Durham North Carolina Mayor (D), City Council Jul 21 Oct 10 Nov 7
Greensboro North Carolina Mayor (D), City Council Jul 21 Oct 10 Nov 7
Raleigh North Carolina Mayor (I), City Council Jul 21 Oct 10 Nov 7
Cincinnati Ohio Mayor (D), City Council Feb 16 May 2 Nov 7
Cleveland Ohio Mayor (D), City Council Jul 3 Sep 12 Nov 7
Toledo Ohio Mayor (D), City Council Jul 14 Sep 12 Nov 7
Philadelphia Pennsylvania District Attorney (D) Mar 7 May 16 Nov 7
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Mayor (D), City Council Mar 7 May 16 Nov 7
Statewide Pennsylvania Supreme Court Mar 7 May 16 Nov 7
SC-05 South Carolina Congress (R) Mar 13 May 2 Jun 20
Arlington Texas Mayor (R), City Council Feb 17 May 6 Jun 10
El Paso Texas Mayor (D), City Council Feb 17 May 6 Jun 10
Fort Worth Texas Mayor (R), City Council Feb 17 May 6 Jun 10
San Antonio Texas Mayor (D), City Council Feb 17 May 6 Jun 10
Statewide Virginia Governor (D), Lt. Gov (D), Atty. Gen. (D), State House (R) Apr 7 Jun 13 Nov 7
King County Washington County Executive (D), County Council May 19 Aug 1 Nov 7
Seattle Washington Mayor (D), City Council May 19 Aug 1 Nov 7

2018 Elections[edit]

Federal Elections[edit]

US House Elections[edit]

All 435 seats of the House of Representatives are up for election in 2018. While most of these seats are safely Republican or Democratic, many are swing districts. The following US House districts are swing districts, meaning that they were decided by a vote margin of 15% or less in the 2016 election.[2]

Key Republican US House seats to flip Democratic:

  • CA-49 Republican Darrell Issa won by only 1,621 votes (0.5%)
  • CA-10 Republican Jeff Denham won by only 8,201 votes (3.4%)
  • CA-25 Republican Steve Knight won by only 16,349 votes (6.3%)
  • CA-21 Republican David Valadao won by only 17,844 votes (13.5%)
  • CA-39 Republican Ed Royce won by only 38,098 votes (14.5%)

Key Democratic US House seats to prevent being flipped Republican:

  • CA-07 Democratic Ami Bera won by only 6,965 votes (2.3%)
  • CA-24 Democratic Salud Carbajal won by only 21,254 votes (6.8%)
  • CA-31 Democratic Pete Aguilar won by only 26,204 votes (12.1%)
  • CA-52 Democratic Scott Peters won by only 41,850 votes (13.1%)
  • CA-09 Democratic Jerry McNerney won by only 34,171 votes (14.7%)

State Elections[edit]

There will be 36 gubernatorial contests in 2018. Twenty-six of these are for seats currently held by Republicans.

Local Elections[edit]

Local elected officials have immediate authority over everything from the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink, to the skills and talents that public-school students have at graduation, to what police officers focus their time enforcing and who gets probation or prison time.[3] All citizens of the state are able to vote for their governor as well as statewide judicial seats on courts of appeal. People vote for their state legislators based on what district they live in, and their local officials based on their city and/or county.[4]

School Board Elections[edit]

According to the National School Boards Association, “the school board represents the public’s voice in public education, providing citizen governance for 1) what the public schools need; and 2) what the community wants.”[5] There are often multiple school districts per county. [6] Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your school board elections.

Local Prosecutor Elections[edit]

The head prosecutor of a county or set of counties is called different things—State Attorney, District Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney, or County Attorney—depending on the state. However, their role is the same: to prosecute misdemeanors and felonies that arise in the county or set of counties.[7] The head prosecutor in a county or counties exercises a wide range of discretion, including who to charge with a crime, whether to go forward with prosecuting an incident as a crime, and what crime or crimes to charge a person or persons with.[8] Since criminal convictions and even arrests have direct consequences (jail/prison/probation) as well as collateral consequences (job prospects, housing, professional licensing),[9] local head prosecutors have a large amount of power. Indeed, the majority of prisoners in the US were prosecuted by local prosecutors' offices,[10] and the US has the highest prison population in the world (and the second-highest rate).[11][12] Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your local prosecutor elections.

Local Sheriff Elections[edit]

The sheriff leads the Sheriff’s Office in a specific county. Officers for a local sheriff's department enforce laws within the jurisdiction of their county. Sheriffs set policing priorities for their officers and use their standing to lobby for change in their local communities—and sometimes even statewide.[13] Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your local sheriff elections.

County Commissioners[edit]

County Commissioners make policy involving elections, voter registration, veterans’ affairs, appointment of county personnel and fiscal management. In addition, they adopt county budgets, assess property, levy taxes, and borrow funds for construction projects, among other tasks.[14] Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your local county commissioners.

City Council Members[edit]

City council members are elected to run city councils. City councils make city planning and zoning decisions, propose and adopt ordinances with the power of law, enforce building codes, and more.[15] Certain cities have home rule charters that permit city councils to govern with a greater level of authority.[16] Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your city council elections.

2016 Elections: Lessons Learned and Strategies for Improvement[edit]

2016 Presidential Election[edit]

In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton won 65,844,610 votes―48.2%―compared with Trump’s 62,979,636 votes, or 46.1%. Other candidates took 7,804,213 ballots, or about 5.7% of the popular vote.[17] Trump won the election despite getting nearly 3 million fewer votes because of the electoral college system, which awarded him 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton's 232. In the end, 2 of Trump's electors and 5 of Clinton's refused to vote for the candidate they were pledged to, resulting in Trump being elected President with 304 electoral votes.[18]

See also Nonprofit Vote's report on 2016 voting patterns and strategies for increasing voter turnout.

Explanations for the Election Results

Popular explanations for Trump's victory include racism, sexism, economic anxiety, "identity politics," antiestablishment sentiment, media bias, and high-profile FBI and foreign interventions in the election. Empirical evidence shows that racism and sexism are better explanations for Trump support than economic anxiety. [19]
Racism and sexism more strongly predict support for Trump than economic anxiety

New research suggests that implicit sexism, the tendency to associate men with careers and women with family, may have had an impact even with people who don't identify with explicitly sexist beliefs.[20] This type of bias is hard to measure but has been found to be especially strong among women, particularly women who planned to vote for Trump.[21]
Gender bias varies by voter preference

Role of Institutional Racism Institutional racism played a clear role in electing Trump. For example, the electoral college system—which was built as a compromise to appease slaveholding states[22]—gave white voters disproportionate voting power in the 2016 Presidential election.[23]

Electoral College system gives white voters more voting power

Other forms of institutional racism—strict voter ID laws, felon disenfranchisement laws, targeted cuts to early voting hours and polling locations—also likely reduced black turnout in pivotal swing states such as North Carolina,[24] Wisconsin,[25] and Florida.[26]
Strict voter ID laws disproportionately reduce black and Latino turnout [1].


Role of FBI Intervention

There is strong evidence that the FBI Director James Comey's unprecedented decision to intervene in the last few weeks of the election caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election.[27][28] The FBI story was a dominant news story during the last few weeks of the election, and during this time, polling indicates that Clinton lost substantial support from almost every constituency—estimated to make up as much as a 6% swing in the election.
Effect of FBI Director Comey letter on support for Clinton

Voter Demographics and Implications

Some post-election analyses blamed Hillary Clinton's loss on "identity politics"[29] and a failure to appeal to working-class white voters (identified as white voters without a college degree), who voted overwhelmingly (65%) for Trump.[30] While this constituency comprised a massive 47% of voters in 2016, there is evidence that the Democrats would have won anyway if their candidate had resonated more strongly with young people and people of color.[31] This suggests that a future Democratic candidate will need to turn out voters who stayed home in 2016—voters who are disproportionately young and of color, especially young black people.
Nonvoterschart.png

In fact, Democrats would have won Wisconsin and Michigan and eliminated most of Trump's lead in Pennsylvania if black turnout had matched 2012 levels in three cities—Milwaukee (41,000 fewer votes than 2012[32]; Trump won Wisconsin by 27,000), Detroit/Wayne County (38,658 fewer votes than 2012[33]; Trump won Michigan by 11,612), and Philadelphia (Clinton got 35,000 fewer votes than Obama in 2012 [34]; Trump won Pennsylvania by 68,236). Had Clinton won these three states, she would have won the election.