Democracy depends on the ballot

The midterm elections


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Speech given by a NATO member at a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Senate

Gisele Cestaro, Lead News Editor

Democracy depended on the ballot for these midterm elections. Typically only a third of the population uses their eligibility to vote. This year, however, the midterms reached 47% in registered voter turnout, which hasn’t happened since the 2018 elections. The surge in people relied heavily on those who were young, minorities, or college graduates. Many young women also came forward in an attempt to keep their reproductive rights in states like California, Michigan, and Vermont due to Roe v. Wade, which left the decision of abortion rights for the individual states to decide. 

The midterms take place every four years in November, and these elections decide which parties will holdpower in Congress. This year, there were 300 Republican (GOP) candidates who were election deniers running for district office. Voter suppression and subversion would be prominent in future elections even if a couple of these candidates were elected into powerful positions. However, this year the population showed that democracy was important enough to show up and vote to instill the power of the people. 

The November 2022 election was especially important due to the current problems we are facing: inflation, election manipulation, and the war in Ukraine. People are often misled to believe that midterm elections are less important than presidential ones. This is false however because there can be a change in how the government is run, depending on who is voted into office.

Lorelei Mccarthy, a senior who is studying Political Science, talked about the expectation of how midterms were to turn out. “The nation has become increasingly polarized in previous years. Everyone was expecting this election to be a red wave, but it has not turned out this way, which says a lot about the people who are voting, as well as their perception of politics and the nation.”

In the race for Secretary of State, democracy prevailed as the election deniers lost to candidates of the Democratic party or GOP’s that are pro-democracy. Democrat Adrian Fontes outpolled incumbent Republican Mark Finchem, an election denier, in Arizona. Finchem marched at the Capital riot on Jan.6, 2021 that followed the defeat of former President Donald Trump. He claimed that Biden winning the presidency was a fantasy, and blamed it on election fraud.

In Nevada, candidate Cisco Aguilar beat Jim Marchant as the incumbent for Secretary of state. Marchant previously had the America First Secretary of State Coalition form a group of MAGA conspiracy theorists to be in a position of supervising elections. 

 Colleen Roche, Upper School Political Science teacher, commented on the election deniers that were selected into office. “There were over 140 election deniers in Congress in January of 2021, many of them being re-elected. The good news for democracy is that election deniers were not voted for critical positions in swing states.” 

Secretary of State would be one of these prominent positions, since those voted into the Senate would have control over the election process. The position entails reviewing ballot language and being in charge of how elections are run, as well as being the president’s foreign affairs advisor. If an election denier were to be voted into this position, there would most likely be discouragement of certain groups of voters, ultimately threatening democracy.

There were over 140 election deniers in Congress in January of 2021, many of them being re-elected. The good news for democracy is that election deniers were not voted for critical positions in swing states

— Colleen Roche

When the results of Nevada and Arizona came in, it became apparent that the Democratic party will hold control of the Senate. This will be beneficial for President Joe Biden as he appoints federal judges and administration. The Dec.6 Georgia runoff will determine whether the Senate will have increased power regarding the Democratic party. If incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock surpasses Republican Herschel Walker, the new majority would be 51-49, which would allow for an advantage in passing bills. 

“I was surprised Walker managed to receive over 1.9 million votes despite the lack of political experience, as well as being accused by several woman that he paid for their abortions, when he claims he is anti-abortion. This would normally be a deal breaker for voters,” Roche said. Because of this, she believes Warnock has a better chance of winning, but also recognizes it comes down to advertising and what the public perceives. 

On November 16, Republicans took control of the House by a slim majority, as they were projected to. This will lead to a divided government, where passing bills will become difficult since neither party can agree on how to move forward, ultimately blocking Biden’s agenda. 

Republicans already stated they were to take action by getting rid of the committee that is investigating the Capital riot, as well as threatening to impeach Biden. “It’s important to remember that not all Republicans are following the former president, but a significant number are,” Roche commented. 

On November 15, former President Donald Trump announced he will be running for presidential candidacy in 2024. If elected into office, he will be the second president to serve two non-consecutive terms. His announcement followed a disappointing performance from the Republicans in the midterms, but he is striving to earn back followers he has lost, such as previous Trump-supporting election deniers.