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.
- 1 2017 Elections
- 2 2018 Elections
- 3 2016 Elections: Lessons Learned and Strategies for Improvement
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.
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|
US House Elections
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.
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%)
There will be 36 gubernatorial contests in 2018. Twenty-six of these are for seats currently held by Republicans.
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. 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.
School Board Elections
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.” There are often multiple school districts per county.  Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your school board elections.
Local Prosecutor Elections
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. 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. Since criminal convictions and even arrests have direct consequences (jail/prison/probation) as well as collateral consequences (job prospects, housing, professional licensing), local head prosecutors have a large amount of power. Indeed, the majority of prisoners in the US were prosecuted by local prosecutors' offices, and the US has the highest prison population in the world (and the second-highest rate). Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your local prosecutor elections.
Local Sheriff Elections
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. Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your local sheriff elections.
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. Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your local county commissioners.
City Council Members
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. Certain cities have home rule charters that permit city councils to govern with a greater level of authority. Check out the State and Local Pages to find out about your city council elections.
2016 Elections: Lessons Learned and Strategies for Improvement
2016 Presidential Election
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. 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.
Explanations for the Election ResultsPopular 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. 
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. 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.
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—gave white voters disproportionate voting power in the 2016 Presidential election.
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, Wisconsin, and Florida.
Role of FBI InterventionThere 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. 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.
Voter Demographics and ImplicationsSome post-election analyses blamed Hillary Clinton's loss on "identity politics" and a failure to appeal to working-class white voters (identified as white voters without a college degree), who voted overwhelmingly (65%) for Trump. 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. 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.
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; Trump won Wisconsin by 27,000), Detroit/Wayne County (38,658 fewer votes than 2012; Trump won Michigan by 11,612), and Philadelphia (Clinton got 35,000 fewer votes than Obama in 2012 ; Trump won Pennsylvania by 68,236). Had Clinton won these three states, she would have won the election.