Midterms Have Record Voter Turnout

Emily Barmore and Justin Cox

After a season of heated debate, discussion and campaigning, the 2018 midterm election is over. On the national level, the Democrats were able to secure the 23 seats needed in the House of Representatives to gain the majority, as well as adding another five.

  This now allows the Democratic party to open many investigations regarding President Donald Trump, that had in the past not been looked at due to the Republican majority deciding not to investigate.

  The Republican Party did however succeed in holding the Senate, even adding to their previous lead by two senators, bringing the totals to 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats with 2 undecided, according to The New York Times election results.

  Students, although some not old enough to legally vote, are speaking out about how these midterms are shaping the country.

  Junior Twyla Summers commented, “I’m disappointed with how the elections ended up however I have hope in how the Democrats will run the house and potentially prevent simple minded policies from being approved. I’m excited to see how the Democrats will run the House of Reps and potentially prevent simple minded policies from being approved.”

   On the state level multiple propositions were passed including the repealing of the gas tax and bonds to support affordable housing and children’s hospitals, to name a few.

  Junior Ivy Blackwood added, “California has made a lot of really beneficial changes concerning daylight savings, children’s hospitals, affordable housing, etc. Also, I’m happy about the most recent Congress/senate elections because of the addition of the first Muslim woman and the youngest woman to be elected.”

   Sonoma County had an enormous voter turnout, as almost 80% of eligible Sonoma County voters made it to the polls according to Martin Espinoza of The Press Democrat. While the majority of students on the SVHS campus are still too young to vote, the election still is a major topic of interest.

  Senior Anna Cline exclaimed, “I thought it was really great that the house flipped, and there have been many firsts from the election which is great news and it shows that America is becoming more progressive. I can’t vote yet but I pre-registered and when I’m 18, I will vote.”

  On the other side of the country, however, voter suppression accusations are present and just beginning to be dealt with according to an article by Astead W. Herndon in The New York Times.

  “As Georgians cast their first in-person ballots on Monday in the state’s fiercely contested gubernatorial election, what were once hypothetical fears about the state’s inability to handle what could be a record turnout for a nonpresidential election may be becoming reality.”

  SVHS alumni Ellie Bon explained, “Elections are commas, not periods, and although it was a fantastic night for women of color and women across the country there is still much work to be done. How do we ensure that the mass voter turnout that showed up in these midterms will continue to come out?”

  Now that the 2018 midterms are complete, it is important for voters to observe policies and decisions made these next two years to inform their vote for the next election in 2020.