Importance of voting, Midterm Elections 2018

By Grace Lewis || Staff Writer

A lot of talk has surrounded the 2018 midterm elections, and if I am completely honest, I somewhat understood why and somewhat not. A mass of celebrities, Buzzfeed articles, links to seemingly juicy celebrity gossip that really led to Vote.Org, all trying to encourage the population to register to vote and go out and vote on November 6th. Since the 2018 election is only midterms, this is not a presidential election; so this massive wave inciting people to vote seemed important, but not the most important. However- looking into what these elections mean, it makes sense why there is such a grand movement to get out and vote.

First- lets break down what this election means and actually does. The House of Representatives holds elections every two years, meaning that US voters will elect all four hundred and thirty five members of the House in this election (The Week). Along with the House of Representatives, there are thirty five seats of the Senate that are up for grabs; twenty six held by Democrats and nine held by Republicans. The US Senate is currently compromised in a barely Republican majority, with fifty one senators representing the red elephant. On the other hand there are currently forty seven Democrats currently holding seat in the Senate; plus two independents (Aljazeera).

The current election could flip the majority of the Senate on its head. If the majority changes, the result of which drastically changes President Trump’s ability to control the United States. The ability to have a majority Senate in favor of the Democratic party would end the potential danger to basic human rights, such as a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, or the future of Medicaid in several states. If the Senate continues to have a Republican majority, more and more people could continue without affordable healthcare as was established previously under Obamacare. With the power of the Senate and House of Representatives up in the air, with nobody really knowing what is going to happen. The potential massive switch in representation could change the future of our country and the lives of many different groups and people.

This whole election is fairly daunting and honestly a little hard to wrap your head around, but one of the most amazing things about our society, which I believe we often can take advantage of, is that we the people have the power to vote and control who represents and runs our country. While this comes with some problematic behavior, for example what was seen with other country interfering in our elections during the 2016 presidential election, but if everything goes according to plan the power is in our hands. But that also has its own problems. Our age group, ranging from eighteen to twenty-two, either can barely legally vote or is just starting out in that sector. This age group, of the tail end of the millennials and not quite into Generation Z yet, compose approximately around thirty percent of the voting population (NPR) yet drastically few of us actually go out to the polls, send in their ballots, and cast their vote. When the 26th amendment lowered the voting age to eighteen in the early 1970’s the thought was that young people would want to get out and vote, and make a different in the country. But history has shown us time and time again that young people hardly vote in the midterms if at all. In the 2014 midterm elections, less than twenty percent of young people voted (The New York Times).

This is the part where I encourage whomever is reading this, to go out and take the 15 minutes out of your day, to change the future of our country and have your views represented. Do your research, know who you are voting for, look into every candidate and see whose views align the best with your own and VOTE. Every vote counts and even one singular vote could change the final results of the election. Don’t give away your power, this is your ability to make this country how you want it to be and stick up for your ideals. There is no excuse not to vote, and I believe that if we want to call ourselves citizens of this country, we have to act like it and perform the tasks asked of us, and taking care of our future is one of those tasks. So please, on November 6th, VOTE!

First-year Grace Lewis is a Staff Writer. Her email is glewis@fandm.edu. 

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