Northwestern's comprehensive 50-state voter-registration hub

✓ check your registration status
✓ register or update your registration
✓ request an absentee ballot

2018 Primary Elections Education Guide

In 2018, states will hold Primary Elections from March through September, to determine candidates for the Midterm Elections in November. Use this guide to learn more about the upcoming elections and how you can participate.

NUVotes helps students register to vote at their campus or permanent address across the country.

What Is a Primary? Why Do They Matter?

In the November 2018 General Election (commonly called the Midterm Election), voters will choose every member of the US House of Representatives (435), one third of US Senators (34), more than two thirds of state governors (36), and the vast majority of state legislators (over 6,000), in addition to countless other state and local officials.

From early spring through early fall, states will hold Primary Elections to narrow the field of candidates for the General Election and select the major party nominees for each office.

Voting in a primary gives YOU a say in which candidates will ultimately be on the ballot in November. In addition, in noncompetitive districts (where one party has a strong advantage over the other), the primary may be where the most meaningful decisions are made.

With control of Congress and state legislatures and so many local and national issues at stake, your voice – and your vote – matters.

Please note: The information here was compiled from publicly available sources in an effort to help provide students with non-partisan information that they may need to know in order to register correctly and vote in upcoming elections. Northwestern University does not endorse or oppose any candidate or organization in connection with this or any other political campaign or election. Students are responsible for working with their own local election officials to ensure their own correct registration and to verify local laws and policies about voting in their respective districts.