With the conclusion of the midterm elections on Nov. 4, only one question seems to be evident regardless of the results. Does anybody care?
While midterms draw a lower turn out compared to presidential elections, youth voters turned out in embarrassingly low numbers for this election and the predictions suggest those numbers will continue to dip.
“I didn’t vote because of my lack of knowledge in the changes that would be made by any of the parties running. I only plan to vote in the presidential election,” Michael Morrica, a sophomore communication major, said.
“I didn’t vote because I don’t believe it takes any particular man to solve the many issues that we have in today’s society,” junior education major, Madeline Collete, said.
According to early estimates, youth voters have made up only 13 percent of the overall vote, which begs the question if that is even enough for millennials to tip the scales to help influence the outcome of any particular election.
Take North Carolina for instance, where key candidates Kay Hagan and long standing Republican State House Speaker Thom Tillis were locked in on a close race. Unfortunately for Hagan, even though she wound up with 54 percent of the youth vote in her state, she still lost.
Whatever the reason may be for you not to vote, most people cite discontent that votes do not actually count with presidential elections due to the Electoral College circa 2012 or 2000. With this logic, the midterm elections actually do have more weight given the Electoral College process does not have a say in any state or local elections. As such, it is reasonable to suggest that your vote has more weight during midterms rather than presidential elections.
“It’s hard to vote because I feel like a lot of times it doesn’t make a difference but at the same time I want feel like I do make a difference and feel like I kind of have a influence on my own future,” Rob Bacchioni, a graduate assistant, said.
So with the midterm elections over, what is the message that voters have sent to Capitol Hill? With several major upsets of Democratic incumbents in several senate and gubernatorial races, voters want change for Capitol Hill to get our government to be more effective.
This year’s midterm elections were also ground breaking for a number of reasons. The state of Utah elected Mia Love, the first ever African-American women to be elected into congress.
South Carolina elected Tim Scott, the first African-American senator to reside in the south since the reconstruction era, Alex Mooney became the first Latino elected to congress in West Virginia’s history and Elise Stefanik became the youngest women in history to be elected to New York’s 21st District at 30 years old .
Manhattan College’s very own administrator, Provost William Clyde, who is originally from Connecticut, ran for Congress from the Green Party. He was on the ballot for Connecticut’s second district with the hopes of achieving education and health care reform with a focusing ideology on improving the environment.
Even though Clyde was defeated, his candidacy has an impact on Manhattan College because he presented the notion that anyone with determination and passion can seek change.
If there has been anything that we have learned over the years, it is that Congress can make it an absolute hell for any president. So to be real proponents for change, maybe students should place more of an emphasis of our voting rights towards Congressional elections rather than the presidential.