Day of decision: First State voters go to the polls

DOVER — Fifty-one legislative and five statewide seats are on the ballot for today’s midterm election. There’s a wide range of possible outcomes, from a blue wave to a strong Republican push that flips the state Senate and at least one statewide office to an election that preserves the status quo.

Around the country, stakes are high, with Democrats looking to send a message to President Trump by flipping Congress and a host of local offices, while Republicans are looking to earn a big win and provide a boost to the president’s agenda.

In Delaware, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Individuals must already be registered to vote, although unlike the primary, people of all political affiliations can cast ballots.

While photo identification is not required, it eases the process. Anyone who does not have proof of identity and address must sign an affidavit at his or her polling place before being permitted to vote.

To find your polling place or view answers to other commonly asked questions, visit or

All Delawareans can pick candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, state attorney general, state treasurer and state auditor.

Running for Senate are Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, Republican Rob Arlett, Green Demitri Theodoropoulos and Libertarian Nadine Frost. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat, is seeking a second term in the House but must defeat Republican Scott Walker first.

Kathy Jennings, a Democrat, and Bernard Pepukayi, a member of the GOP, are competing to lead the Department of Justice. Attorney General Matt Denn, a Democrat, is not running.

Treasurer Ken Simpler, the only Republican seeking reelection to a statewide office, will try to hold off Democrat Colleen Davis and Green David Chandler as he looks for a second term.

In the race for auditor, Republican James Spadola faces Democrat Kathy McGuiness. Incumbent Tom Wagner, a Republican, is retiring.

Each statewide race has seen candidates raise at least $300,000 combined, with the Democrat pulling in more contributions than the Republican in the campaigns for Senate, House, attorney general and auditor.

The legislative contests include 10 Senate seats split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, although four senators are retiring. All 41 House posts, 10 of which are being vacated, will be also up.

Fifteen of those 51 seats won’t be contested on ballots today.

Write-in candidates are running for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, attorney general and the 13th, 17th and 31st Representative districts.

With the Senate balance sitting at 11-10, flipping one seat would give the GOP control of the chamber for the first time in 46 years.

Plenty of eyes will be on the 17th Senatorial District, where the Democratic incumbent is not running.

The House, which Democrats control by a 25 to 16 edge, is expected to remain blue. The party has held the chamber for the past 10 years.

Weather could affect turnout, with rain possible throughout the day. Adverse weather is most likely from about noon to 6 p.m., with wind gusts also expected to occur in that timeframe.

Over the past four midterms, turnout has hovered between 50 percent (2010) and 37 percent (2014). In each of the five most recent presidential elections, about two-thirds of Delaware’s registered voters have cast ballots.

While more Democrats have voted than Republicans because of the big difference in voter totals, a greater percentage of Republicans has cast ballots in every one of the last nine elections save for 2008.

Much has been written or said about how this election cycle is expected to see greater participation among younger voters, who are typically less likely to cast ballots.

Exactly what turnout among different groups will look like can’t be known yet, but in 2014, just one in seven registered voters under age 30 voted.

Results are expected to start trickling in tonight around 8:30. Check for updates.


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