Students Talk Voter Participation


The midterm elections took place on Nov. 8. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The votes are still rolling in for the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

As of Nov. 15, the Democrats have control of the Senate, the Republicans will likely get the House and Georgia’s Senate race is going into a runoff. The Guardian describes the recent election as “Republicans [scrambling] to climb [the] blue wall,” a play on words from the so-called “red wave” that was expected to drown the legislative branch of government.

Madison Cost, FCRH ’24, voted by mail for the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, a historically swing state, made headlines for its noteworthy Senate race, which included Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, a television personality known for “The Dr. Oz Show.”

“Utter polarity does not begin to describe the candidates in PA’s midterm elections this year,” said Cost. “With issues like abortion rights, the candidates were either pro-reproductive rights or completely against any and all reproductive freedom.”
Pennsylvania stayed blue, however, with John Shapiro winning the gubernatorial race and Fetterman defeating Oz.

“I think it’s been cool to be a Pennsylvania voter in the past presidential and midterm elections, especially as a relatively new voter,” said Cost. “Since it’s a pretty intense swing state, many of PA’s recent elections have been crucial in the losses of candidates who’d be considerably harmful to the nation’s well-being.”

Donovan Miner, FCRH ’24, also voted by mail in the swing state of Georgia. Georgia’s Senate seat is going into a runoff race between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, a former NFL player.

Miner said when he voted, he considered the topics of civil rights, gun control and access to healthcare.

In addition, he stated that “I think substance reform overall is important, like marijuana legalization. However, the Republicans got a lot of seats in the Senate, so it’s unlikely.” Georgia is one of 19 remaining states that impose jail time for simple cannabis possession.

Even some firmly blue states, such as Maryland, felt uncertain for some democrats. Daniel Melia, FCRH ’25, voted for the first time in this election.

“I was certainly anxious about this election and was so relieved to see the Democrats prevail in a sense,” said Melia. “The single most important issue is the integrity of our democracy and the safeguarding of our democratic norms and systems.”

Larry Hogan, a Republican, is due to be replaced by Wes Moore, a Democrat, who will be the first Black governor of Maryland. The New York Times called this midterm election a “bad showing for the GOP” and attributed it to “extreme candidates and positions” which turned off some swing voters. In fact, many traditionally libral news outlets all across the nation are claiming that the “extremity” of the Republican party is pushing more and more voters to the left.

What Biden will do with this midterm turnout, however, is left to be seen. His student debt relief was recently blocked by a court and the Supreme Court may overturn affirmative action. It seems as though politics will remain contentious, even as results continue to pour in.