Midterm Elections

ballot box

Ballot box / Contributed Photo

The 2018 midterm elections are probably garnering more interest than many previous midterms, and with good reason. As it now stands, the Republican Party holds 51 out of 102 seats in the Senate and 235 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Many of the races are extremely close with 31 districts that could fall either way, according to the New York Times, and with our increasingly divisive politics, several are becoming evermore contentious and heated.

In the Georgia governor race, accusations of voter suppression have been flying after more than 50,000 voter registrations (a disproportionate number of them black) have been allegedly stalled because of issues with the voter registration information provided. It is worthy of note that these registrations were halted by Republican Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who also happens to be running for governor against Stacey Abrams who is aiming to become Georgia’s first black female governor.

Closer to home, in Washington’s eighth district, newcomer to politics Democrat Kim Schrier is running against well established Republican and former state senator Dino Rossi. So far, polling has shown the two candidates to be neck and neck, which is surprising considering that the district traditionally goes Republican. Both parties are heavily invested in these campaigns with money flowing in from both sides. With no one the wiser as to what the result will be, it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out come November.

However, probably the biggest issue with the mid-terms is voter turnout. The 2018 midterm elections are slated to have unprecedented voter turnout. Does this mean you should give it a pass because everyone else will take care of it, and you do not really care either way? Of course not. Speaking as an individual who is currently unable to vote, I feel a certain amount of powerlessness. Vote because you can, because so many others in the world do not have this right. Vote because what is the point of allowing people to vote if they are not going to? Most importantly, vote because you have an interest in the future of this country, which is not just the responsibility of the people in government, because we put them in that place of power, sometimes by our inaction. The future of this country, which will influence the future of the world, is in the hands of the voters, not the politicians. So please use that power, and vote.

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