Off-year election

An off-year election is a general election in the United States which is held in odd-numbered years when neither a presidential election nor a midterm election takes place.[1][2] The term "off-year" may also be used to refer to midterm election years as well.[3]

Off-year elections during odd-numbered years rarely feature any election to a federal office, few state legislative elections, and very few gubernatorial elections. Instead, the vast majority of these elections are held at the county and municipal level. On the ballot are many mayors, a wide variety of citizen initiatives in various states, and many more local public offices. They may also feature a number of special elections to fill vacancies in various federal, state and local offices.

Because such off-year elections feature far fewer races than either presidential or midterm elections, they generate far lower voter turnout than even-numbered election years.[4][5]

Federal elections

Regularly scheduled elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives are always held in even-numbered years. Elections for these offices are only held during odd-numbered years if accommodating a special election—usually either due to incumbents resigning or dying while in office.

Special elections are never held for the U.S. President. If the President dies, resigns or is (via impeachment conviction) removed from office, the successor is determined by the presidential line of succession, as specified by the United States Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act, and serves the rest of the presidential term.

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