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Get ready for the midterm elections with NHPR's Civics 101 marathon

Why do the midterms matter? What do your representatives in Congress do for you? What forces might be working against your power as a voter?

Civics 101, NHPR's podcast refresher course on the basics of how our democracy works, has your guidebook for the how and the why of the midterm elections. From why you should vote and how to do it, to the difference between the House and the Senate, to the forces that disenfranchise voters, we have the tools to help you understand how to make the most of your vote.

Civics 101 has combined its six-part series about midterm elections into three broadcast specials, which will air as a marathon on NHPR Saturday, Nov. 5 from 1 to 4 pm, just days before voters head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8:

Here's the schedule and episode descriptions:

1 pm: Disinformation, Misinformation, and Gerrymandering

Rumors about unfair voting practices, bad information about where and how to vote, maps that sequester voters unevenly to give one party the advantage; All of these things cause confusion, and mistrust, in the voting process. We're going to talk about misinformation, disinformation, and gerrymandering: how they work, how to spot them, and what they mean for you.

2 pm: Why Do the Midterms Matter?

First: know your candidates and causes, find your polling place, have a plan! There are plenty of small steps you can take to be ready for the midterm election. But if you want to know what they're about and why they matter? Look and listen no further.

Then: the House and the Senate have mostly the same powers: they both propose and vote on bills that may become law. So why does the House have 435 members, and the Senate have 100? Why does legislation have to pass through both sides, and what kinds of power do each have individually? And finally: what role do you, as a voter, play in ensuring that Congress, and your Congressional delegation, is working in your best interests?

3 pm: Why You Should Vote, and How To Do It

The United States is a representative democracy. The idea is that we’re a government "by the people" (we vote officials into office) and "for the people" (the officials in office are supposed to represent our interests). But it’s not so straightforward around here.

When you take that golden idea and add restrictive voter laws, billions of dollars, and a whacky electoral system, representation takes on a whole different hue. should vote anyway. This episode explains why. And we give you the basic tools to vote on Election Day, including tips for avoiding the roadblocks.

Programming note: episodes of Code Switch/Life Kit, Radiolab, and Snap Judgment can be found on the NHPR mobile app. These programs will return to their normal times the following Saturday, Nov 12.

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