In an increasingly polarized political world, voting matters more now than ever.
All across the nation, mail-in voters are turning in their ballots for the midterm elections and others are preparing their sample ballots for the voting booths on Tuesday, November 6th. Voters are considering numerous propositions and officials at both the local and the national levels; the House of Representatives and around a third of the Senate is elected, 36 governors are elected, and many mayors and other public offices are too.
Currently, Republican representatives hold the majority in the House and the Senate, something that has been largely helpful in accelerating the changes that President Trump has made while in office. This year’s elections give Democrats a chance to take back both, which would largely reduce Trump’s power. If they do so, this will allow for Democrats to take advantage of checks and balances that will attempt to keep more control over presidential agenda.
Presidential Elections typically have a voter turnout of around 60% of all eligible voters, while the Midterm Elections only usually have around 40% turnout, as many people don’t view them as important compared to the more hype-garnering Presidential Elections.
There is also a record number of women running this year, which could result in history being made on election night. The same is said for African-American governors. If three potential candidates win, it will be the first time that three African-Americans will be elected as governors at the same time.
However, no election is without its controversy. In Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams is running against Republican Brian Kemp, issues regarding basic voter rights have risen. More than 53,000 voter registrations have been put on hold because of discrepancies in records, and the man in charge of this is Kemp himself- something that is creating suspicion and backlash. An additional 1.4 million registrations have been canceled because the voters didn’t vote for several elections in a row, as CNN reported.
As for La Mesa, this year’s elections consist of a run for the Mayor, two members of City Council, and the City Treasurer. Mark Arapostathis, a teacher and co-founder of La Mesa Arts Academy, is unopposed while running for mayor once again, four candidates are running for City Council, and only one is running for Treasurer.
Even if you are not sure of your political stance, voting is crucial. Educate yourself. As a young person, it is incredibly important to vote and have a say in the world – we are the next generation of adults and must use it in a positive way.
If you’re 18, you are able to either register by mail or in person. If you are 16 or 17, you can pre-register to vote at https://registertovote.ca.gov/.