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Democracy Needs Voters

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by Mikaela Gantz

Though it may not seem like it, the 2022 midterm elections are right around the corner. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate are on the ballot. For all Roanoke students who have U.S. citizenship, this means you have the opportunity to vote for a representative for your district. For some out-of-state students, a Senate seat may be on the ballot too. 

Midterm elections typically reveal the public’s approval, or lack thereof, of the current administration. Historically, the party that is not in control of the executive branch during the midterms is expected to gain seats, or to even gain control in at least one house of Congress. Currently the Senate is split 50-50, and with important bills expected to make appearances on the floor, both parties want control. Control of the Senate is expected to be determined by a few competitive races in states such as Arizona and Florida. These midterms could very easily result in a divided or GOP-controlled Congress, and either scenario could contribute to further political polarization leading up to the 2024 election.

Midterm elections are not just for Congress. There are 36 governorships and 30 state attorney general offices on ballots this November. Though these seats may seem less important than Congressional seats, there are certain issues important to American voters that governors have influence over, most notably, abortion rights following the recent reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Regardless of your political ideology, voting is essential to the state of our democracy and you cannot vote if you are not registered. Online resources such as vote.org and gettothepolls.com can help provide state-specific information on registration deadlines, absentee information, and polling location. A majority of the United States offers online voter registration, where most students can input their home address to determine their district and vote absentee. Get registered and get ready to use your constitutional right to vote on November 8th.