The midterm elections are quickly approaching, and their importance is quickly growing. When most people think of voting, the Presidential elections are the only ones that come to mind, but now more than ever, it is vital for citizens to vote in every election.
The midterm elections elect the governor, state representatives, and senators. With seats available in the House of Representatives and Senate, Democrats are hoping to claim majority over the current Republican majority offices. Only two Democrats are needed to regain control of the Senate, and with twenty six Democrats running against only nine republican opponents, their chances of regaining majority looks high. However, in the House midterm elections, Democrats require twenty six representatives in order to control the House. With only only fourteen races leaning Democratically, and twenty five Republican, it is likely that Republicans may have the upper hand in the House. There are also thirty six governor races, whose wins will be crucial to the next presidential election in 2020.
As a nationwide election, Pennsylvania plays a major role in the future of Congress. Pennsylvania will elect one member to the U.S. Senate, who will fill the seat of Bob Casey, the former Democratic senator of Pennsylvania. The candidates are U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who is running for his third term, and Republican U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, who has received public support from President Donald Trump in his campaign. There is also a Libertarian running, Dale Kerns, and a member of the Green party, Neal Gale.
Casey is campaigning for a higher minimum wage and cheaper, widely accessible health care . Barletta has highlighted immigration issues in his campaign, believing that a city should never be able to declare itself a “sanctuary city,” and oppose the federal law. He also has history in founding the after school program SHINE, Schools and Homes in Education, to help children from working families stay out of trouble. Kerns’ priority in his campaign is to end the war on drugs and treating addiction as a medical issue, not a criminal issue. Gale is focusing on the environment in his campaign, with his emphasis on climate change and clean energy. He hopes to transform Pennsylvania’s infrastructure into 100 percent clean, renewable energy. As of today, several sources say the outcome looks Democratic.
There are also U.S. House elections, elections for Lieutenant Governor, State Senate, and State House. A great resource for the full list of candidates by House or District is on Phillyvoice, which provides all candidates and their campaigns and plans for office.
Many people might be thinking that these elections don’t concern them, but that is not true. Throughout the country, people are being denied the right to vote. Citizens are being accused of voter fraud, having voting rights purged for being ex felons, and not being allowed to vote for not having proper identification. More than 12,000 eligible voters had their right to vote taken away from them, and usually for reasons that they could not control. It is important to get out and vote in every election, because every election matters, and every vote matters. Through voting, we are given a chance to change the government and society for the better.
More information about voting and the midterm elections can be found on Philly voice, or on Ballot Pedia. For national information, The New York Times has a great resource that follows the elections. Your polling place can be found on the PA Voter Service Website, and all polls are open on Tuesday. November 6, from 7am to 8pm.
Seniors make sure to vote if you are eligible, and students encourage your parents to vote!
Grace Jickling (279)