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Voter Turnout for The Midterm Election

Citizens Flock to the Polls on November 6th

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Voter Turnout for The Midterm Election

After voting, people receive a sticker to wear.

After voting, people receive a sticker to wear.

After voting, people receive a sticker to wear.

After voting, people receive a sticker to wear.

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On November 6, 2018, The U.S. held midterm elections. Midterm elections are the general elections held two years after the presidential election, which occurs every four years. Historically, the presidential election attracts many more voters than the midterm election. However, this year was different. Citizens went and fulfilled their civic responsibility this midterm. Voters showed up at the polls in record numbers.

In the United States, citizens use many things to express their freedom of speech.

Voting is a form of expressing opinion through democracy. It is a privilege and should be taken seriously. There are some requirements in order to vote. You have to be a U.S. citizen, 18 years or older (17 in some states to vote in the primaries), and in some states if you commit a crime, your

As a result of the midterm election, democrats take over the House of Representatives.

voting rights can be suspended. When you become a registered voter, you are assigned to a polling location based on where you live. There, you fill out your ballot privately and feed it to the machine that records your vote. In addition, you are given a sticker that says, “I voted.”

This year, voter turnout was much higher than expected. The total number of ballots this year was around 31 million, as compared to 28 million in 2014. In this election a whopping 50% of registered voters voted. In 2010, during Obama’s first term, only 41% of voters showed up at the polls for midterm elections.

The large turnout this year could be attributed to many factors. One possible factor was celebrity endorsement. Music icons such as Taylor Swift and Travis Scott encouraged voters to get out to fulfill their civic responsibility. They offered incentives such as concert tickets, as well. Another factor was voter accessibility. Registering to vote as well as voting itself was made easier. Today, citizens can register online to vote. Absentee ballots, which allow people to vote without going to a polling place, were utilized more in this election than in 2014. A third factor was electoral competitiveness. This year, the democrats won back the house. However, the republicans still control the senate. This proves that sometimes the midterm election can be more important than the primary. 

Abdullah Suid

Lafayette High School’s Zach Yelich stated, “I feel as if the election was balanced. The democrats won the house, but the Republicans secured the senate. Voter turnout was great. It was a pleasure to see how many people turned up at the polls.” LHS Senior Abdallah Suid says, “It was my first time voting. Overall, the whole process was easy. The line wasn’t long and the volunteers were friendly. My candidate even won their district.” People were obviously happy with voter experience, which could in turn result in even higher voter turnout for next election.

Lafayette’s Christian Hankins

LHS student Christian Hankins says, “When I turn 18, one of the first things I’m going to do is register to vote. I think they’ve made the registering process so much easier.” Hankins is right. The process of registering to vote is becoming much easier. Now, people don’t have to leave the couch to sign up. You can simply sign up online. This has connected with millennials who are tech savvy. Millennials have been known in the past to be staunch democrats, but usually don’t show up on election day. However, the data from this election shows that more and more millennials are fulfilling their civic responsibility. As for the older generation, they show up at the polls in staggering numbers. In fact, those 50 and older make up the highest amount of voters in each election.

 All things considered, voter turnout for this election was strong. Political scientists’ projections showed that turnout would’ve been much lower. However, this was much of the opposite. Turnout neared 50% instead of the projected 40%. In the last primary election, 60% of registered voters voted. The results of this election might indicate that we’re in for an even higher turnout in the 2020 primary. This is important because it’s the job of the people to tell the government what they want. People that don’t vote are sacrificing the right to elect leaders and representatives that have the people in mind. Voting allows citizens to express their opinion and show what issues are pressing to them. Nobody is forced to vote. Nevertheless, people show up to the polls ready for the country to hear their voice.

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Voter Turnout for The Midterm Election