Voting-age seniors take to the polls

Tarek Anthony, Staff Writer

With the Democrats’ 50/50 control of congress on the line, this year’s Nov. 8 midterm elections will be highly consequential. Currently, Congress is controlled by the Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote, meaning any shift in this year’s midterm election could subsequently shift congressional power back to the Republican Party. Whichever way it goes, the results will likely determine the effectiveness of the second half of Joe Biden’s presidential term. There are additionally 435 house seats and 35 Senate seats up for grabs in addition to 36 out of 50 states holding gubernatorial elections. 

Key gubernatorial elections in swing states such as Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania will prove highly consequential in the 2024 presidential race as incumbent candidates Gretchen Whitmer (D) of Michigan and Ron DeSantis (R) of Florida both eye possible presidential runs for 2024 in addition to a highly contentious rematch between Texas Republican incumbent governor Greg Abbott and perennial Democratic challenger Beto O’roukre. 

Following another year of high political tension the topics of abortion, crime, border control, inflation and economic instability are expected to prove prevalent for Americans when making their decisions at the polls. The topic of abortion, particularly among younger voters, is expected to increase voter turnout in favor of the democrats as many red states push for a full abortion ban. 

Teenage voter turnout is on the rise following record-shattering voter turnout in the 2018 Midterms and this was most recently seen in the Aug. 2 abortion ban vote in Kansas in which teenage voting led to a landslide vote for the Democrats. Following this rise, teenagers are expected to heavily influence the 2022 election cycl. 

“I am voting ( in the midterms) because it is my civic duty and (also) my first opportunity to do so,” said senior Asher Cohen.  “I am concerned with the current economic crisis and foreign affairs issues in our country and want to make my voice heard.” 

Numerous states including key battleground states such as Georgia and Florida have enacted new voting laws surrounding identification requirements with restricted access to early voting and voting by mail following false election fraud claims by many republicans following the 2020 presidential election. These new restrictions to mail voting are expected to negatively impact Black voter turnout given they used mail voting more than any other racial group last election. 

“I personally feel like it is important for everyone to vote,” said senior Aleks Williams. “It makes a difference [even] one single vote can make a difference no matter [the outcome].”