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How to Watch the 2023 U.S. Elections

Our TV experts tell you how to watch the 2023 off-year elections live—and even free.

On Tuesday, November 7, Americans will vote in the 2023 off-year elections. Since we’re in an odd-numbered year, these aren’t technically midterm elections, but they’ll still be referred to as such by some media outlets. On the ballots this year are several gubernatorial and state legislative elections, as well as citizen initiatives and mayoral contests.

For those wondering how to catch all the breaking electoral action, our TV experts tell you which cable TV providers and streaming TV services carry the news channels you’ll need—and how you can watch the off-year elections for free.

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What are the 2023 off-year elections?

Off-year elections happen in odd-numbered years between the general and midterm elections of even-numbered years. These elections aren’t usually considered high-stakes voting events, though there are three major battles to fill vacated congressional seats in Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia in 2023.

How to watch the 2023 off-year elections on cable

For off-year election developments as they happen, plus expert analysis and commentary, you’ll want to watch 24-hour cable news channels like CNN, C-SPAN, FOX News, and MSNBC. For highlights and updates, watch your local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates.

You can get these channels from cable and satellite TV providers. DISH Network is our editor’s choice for the best overall TV provider and best TV provider for families. Find out why in our DISH review.

How to stream the 2023 off-year elections live

Live TV streaming services also carry the news channels mentioned above. You can check out our YouTube TV review to see why it’s our editor’s choice for the best live TV streaming service. Or, keep scrolling to learn how to watch the off-year elections for free.

How to stream the 2023 off-year elections for free

If you’re on a tight budget or if you don’t have a live TV provider or live TV streaming service, there are ways you can watch live news for free (or close to free):

Free TV streaming services

Most of the free, ad-supported streaming services have news channels. Some are live, while others, like CNN RePlay, show previously aired content from a parent channel.

Among the 200+ channels on Pluto are 20 news channels: 60 Minutes, America’s Voice, Blaze Live, Bloomberg TV, Cheddar News, CNN RePlay, CBS News, CBS News Los Angeles, CBS News New York, The First, NBC News Now, Newsy, Newsmax, OAN Plus, Pluto TV News, Sky News, Today All Day, TYT Network, Yahoo! Finance, and more.

Sling Freestream
The free version of Sling TV has a handful of news channels that should carry midterm election coverage: ABC News Live, Al Jazeera, CBS News, Cheddar News, FS TV, Newsy Live, Univision Noticias, and USA Today News.

There is a ton of live news on Tubi. The FOX-owned free streaming TV service has 88 free live news stations, including 17 FOX affiliates, 33 Hearst-owned local broadcast affiliates (mostly ABC), ABC News Live, Black News Channel, Bloomberg TV, Boston 25 News, Cheddar News, Estrella News, NBC News NOW, Newsy, USA Today News, and more.

Similar to Pluto, Xumo has hundreds of channels, including 17 live and replay news channels: ABC News Live, Bloomberg TV, Cheddar News, CBS News, The First, Live Now from FOX, LX News (NBC), NBC News Now, Newsy, Newsmax, OAN Plus, Pluto TV News, Sky News, TIME, Today All Day, TYT Network, and USA Today News.

Most news networks post clips to YouTube throughout the day. Some will even broadcast live breaking news and important hearings.

Pro tip: For more tips on free TV news, read our guide, How to Watch Live TV News for Free. If you decide you don’t want to subscribe, cancel before the trial expires to avoid charges.

Live TV streaming service free trials

Every ‘Murican is eligible for free trials of streaming TV services. Most free trials last seven days, but some are longer or shorter. We’ve organized the following table by trial length, from longest to shortest.

Swipe Left to See All →
Streaming serviceTrial period
fuboTV7 days
Philo7 days
YouTube TVVaries
Hulu + Live TVNo trial

Data as of post date. Offers and availability are subject to change.

Beginning on Wednesday, September 27, Max will be offering CNN shows and some live news in its cleverly-title CNN Max hub. CNN content will be available on both Max’s premium and ad-supported plans.

Pro tip: Sign up for your free trial a day or two before Election Day (November 7). Then you can stay up-to-date on preelection events and postelection recounts.

Over-the-air (OTA) TV antennas

An OTA antenna isn’t free, but you can buy a good one for $25–$60. And, after that, you’ll have every local broadcast affiliate and subchannel (within range of your antenna) free for life.

Pro tip: Over-the-air (OTA) TV antennas have 25–200 mile ranges. The ones we recommend cost $25–$60 and have 50–60 mile ranges—that’s plenty for most users.

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