Early voting began on Monday, October 24, 2022, and continues until November 4, with Election Day – and the final opportunity to vote – being Tuesday, November 8. It is crucial that everyone take advantage of their opportunity to be heard. Historically, during midterm elections, voter turnout is lower than in presidential years. There are those that think, “my vote doesn’t count, so there’s no need for me to vote.” They typically have this same viewpoint during presidential elections. Then, there are others that simply think that midterm elections are not as important as those during presidential years. Both mindsets are absolutely wrong.
The government is designed to be a system of checks and balances. With every election our votes are designed to keep that system running in the manner in which it should—as a system that works for the American people.
During midterm elections, members of Congress are elected. Every two years, all 435 seats of the House of Representatives are up for grabs. With regard to the Senate, where Senators serve six-year terms, about one-third of the 100 seats are up for election. Members of Congress are our voices—at least they are supposed to be. Congress has the authority to make laws, declare war, confirm or reject many presidential appointments, and investigate the actions of public officials. With its power, Congress can have a huge impact on what our president is able to accomplish. It has the power to make laws that support the president’s plans or hinder them. Congress has the power to make laws that will be interpreted and enforced by our judiciary. As we clearly see, these individuals who make up Congress have a huge impact on how our government functions and is arguably the most powerful branch of the government. Congress is given its great power because it is intended to speak for us, the American people.
When people fail to vote, Congress still speaks, but we may find that they are only speaking for those voters that are most powerful. The voters with power are the ones that consistently go to the polls and with their votes are deciding if these elected officials stay or if they go. Americans must take this power and there is only one way to do so: by going to the polls and voting.
In addition to electing members of Congress, there are many state and local offices on the ballots. State and local officials are the ones that make the decisions that are closest to home. Where the federal government’s power end, the power of state and local governments begins. Are lawmakers in your home state making decisions that help with gun control? Are state and county judges fair, impartial, and properly interpreting the law? Is the school board making the best decisions for your children?
All of the decisions of our elected officials, whether on the federal, state, or local level, have a huge impact on how we are able to live our lives. So, the questions you must ask yourself are: How do I want to live my life? Whose ideas and beliefs are more in line with the choices that I want to have control over? Whose ideas and beliefs are more in line with what is best for me, my family, and my city, state, and country?
If you are concerned about inflation and the cost of living, it is time to vote. If you care about gun safety and gun control, it is time to vote. If you care about protections for women and a woman’s right to choose, it is time to vote. If you care about your vote, believe in democracy, and don’t want your choices stolen by those who don’t want to accept the legitimacy of an election result, it is time to vote. If you care about the Astros winning the World Series, it is time to vote. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.
With each election, we as American people have something at stake. In recent years, even in recent months, we have seen why our votes matter. Now is the time. Really, every time is the time. We have to be consistent to gain the power in our government that we deserve. The results will not always turn out the way we desire, but consistency may make out elected officials work harder to give us what we deserve—a government that works together for the majority. In these elections, there is no electoral college at play. The popular vote wins. EVERY VOTE COUNTS. NOW, GET OUT THERE!