The midterm elections, when 470 of the most influential and sought-after seats in the United States’ government are up for grabs, are rapidly approaching on Nov. 6, 2018. Many seniors have now reached legal voting age and are looking forward to participating as an ‘adult’.
Students who turn 18 on or before Nov. 6 are able to participate in what Fred Young, an organizer for the Danny O’Connor campaign, said will be the, “Most important midterm election in modern American history”.
Registering to vote is actually a lot simpler and less time consuming than one may think.
“Registering to vote literally takes as much time as checking your morning Twitter feed. Just go online and do it. Just mail the form and do it. Just fill out one of the clipboards you may see around the school and do it”, intern for O’Connor and senior, Cameron Cox, said. The most efficient way to register is to visit the Delaware Board of Elections website and ensure readiness for November in just a few minutes.
While the midterm elections aren’t centered on the ‘big’ positions to vote for, like the president and vice president, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t vote on the first Tuesday of November.
Senior Zaida Jenkins, who works as an intern alongside Cox, said, “Although it is not a presidential election, it still matters! There is a plethora of new leadership emerging from Ohio that voters need to take advantage of if they are seeking change.”
The midterm elections can have an indirect effect on other parts of the government, allowing some to argue that voting in this election is just as important as doing so in the general election. For example, in 2010, Gov. Ted Strickland lost to the current Ohio Governor John Kasich. At the time, President Barack Obama passed a stimulus bill that included funding for a light rail train that would pass from Cincinnati through Columbus to Cleveland. While the train was already paid for and on the table, Gov. Kasich and the Republicans in the statehouse decided not to follow through with the original plans. Thus, a change in the House of Representatives can cause change on a lower, more local level.
The significance of the midterm elections can often be misunderstood, but essentially, the election decides which party has greater control over the different chambers of Congress. As of right now, the Republicans control both the Senate as well the House of Representatives, and the Democrats are looking to take over control of one of them, according to AP government teacher, John Carmichael.
Troy Balderson and Danny O’Connor are currently campaigning for the same seat in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, hoping a victory can secure that section of Congress for their respective party.
Mike Dewine and Rich Cordray are also amidst a political battle of their own, campaigning against each other to replace Ohio’s current governor, Gov. John Kasich. The candidates ran against each other previously in the 2010 race for attorney general and each aspire to win to gain power for their party, as well as prove themselves to their opponent.
While one must be 18 to vote, there are ways to get involved in politics and campaigning prior to that age limit. “You don’t have to be 18 to volunteer! There are opportunities two-three times a week to canvas local areas or work at a phone bank!” Jenkins explained. In addition to voting, polling locations utilize volunteers from the community on voting days to help run the polls and ensure everything runs smoothly.
“To any student who is of age to vote in this midterm, just research the candidates and the issue our community faces. Don’t vote for who your parents tell you to vote for, just vote for the candidate you think deserves to win,” Young said.