Lex Thoughts

Why Midterm Elections Matter

A lot of people think, well I vote in the general election (presidential) that’s enough, right? Well, yes and no. It’s awesome that you used your voice two years ago and exercised your right to vote, but general elections are not the only ones that matter. The midterms elections are equally as important.

What are midterm elections?

The midterm elections take place during the midpoint of a president’s four year term. Offices that are up for elections are all members of the House of Representatives (who have two year terms) and one-third of the Senate (who have six year terms).

There are also of gubernatorial, mayoral, and local elections that take place, but we will will table those for another discussion.

If you like the way things are going

The president may shape policy, but the house and senate are what actually make it happen. So, if you want things to keep going in same direction you should vote. If you’ve tuned into election coverage, you’ve probably heard the term “blue wave”. That refers to democrats potentially taking back the majority in the house and senate. If that happens, it will become very difficult for President Trump to get much done. Using a sports metaphor, the democrats would become the equivalent of a very good goalie blocking every bit of legislation Trump tries to get in the goal. His only other option would be executive orders.

If you HATE the way things are going

Okay, so let’s say you would very much so like to see the aforementioned “blue wave”, well the only way you can make that happen is by going to the polls. While making real change will be hard, the politicians on the hill would at least be able to put a stop to many of Trump administration’s controversial policies. So if you want to see a democratic takeover, you have to vote. Voting is especially important if you live in a battleground state:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota (special)
  • Mississippi (special)
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

Issues this election can effect

  • Immigration (i.e. illegal immigration, Dreamers, travel bans)
  • Women’s rights (birth control, right to choose, overall control over our own bodies)
  • Healthcare (updates or dismantling of Affordable Care Act)
  • Supreme Court nominees (more controversial nominees like Brett Kavanaugh)

Why does MY vote matter?

You might think well who cares if I stay home? Other people will vote, right? What if those other people think the same thing and cycle goes on and on though? Well, that’s exactly how people thought in the last midterm elections in 2014. Here’s who actually voted:

  • Voter turnout was the lowest since World War II
    • 36.6% of eligible citizen voters voted
  • 26% of voters under 40
    • 13% of voters 18 – 29
  • 12% of Black voters
  • 8% of Latino voters
  • 3% of Asian Voters

PS – special shout out to my readers that I know are from New York and New Jersey (states that had some of the lowest voter turnout in the country last midterm election). New Jersey (32.5% voter turnout in 2014) is a battleground state this election and could, for the first time in a long time (1982), go from democratic to republican in the senate.

So, you might think it doesn’t matter if you show up, but it does. The only way for the country to be shaped in the way we want it to be is by us showing up to the polls and telling our politicians who WE want to represent us. Every election matters from local to federal to presidential. The midterms matter. VOTE! Please vote.

If you haven’t registered, there may still be time depending on which state you live in. Find out here! If you’ve registered in the past, you do not need to re-register unless you’ve moved to a new address. Find out where to vote on November 6th here!


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