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Opinion: Midterm Elections Hold Massive Significance

Seniors should exercise their civic duty this Nov.
Photo by Alexis Jackson
Senior Ryan Yates fills out a voter registration card during lunch. He plans to vote in the Nov. 8 midterms. “Voting is important because it gives everybody a voice and a chance to speak up about their opinions,” he said.

During the midterm elections, about 40% of eligible voters cast their ballots, while in presidential elections, 60% of voters cast their ballots. 

This is a significant shift considering the vast importance of midterm elections. Americans are clearly under the opinion that midterms are of ill importance based off of the significantly lower voter turnout present during these elections. However, I believe that it is purely based on a lack of knowledge on the impact these elections will have in their community. 

These elections can help predict the outcome of the presidential election in 2024, representing the general mood of the country and how the citizens feel about where the country is headed. The elections are viewed as a scale of the president’s performance during the first two years of their presidency. 

According to the Young African Leaders Initiative, voters do not come to the polls ironically because of their disappointment with the government. This organization, like me, thinks that to improve voter turnout, we must educate future voters that participating in elections is beneficial to improving the downfalls in our government and that participation in elections is an important way to improve the state of communities.

The lack of knowledge on the gravity the midterms hold will impact the elections, in turn, impacting communities around the country. Since citizens know less about these elections, many do not show up at the polls, impacting the accuracy of who should represent our communities.

The results of these elections can make it extremely difficult for the sitting president to pass any new legislation. Anything the president wants to do has to be passed through congress first, and if congress leans to the opposing party, almost nothing will be passed. This adds to the vast importance of the midterms.

Presidents almost always do poorly in their first midterm, so much so that this trend has earned its own name, “the midterm curse.” Control over the congress for the opposing party to the presidents means a lot of investigations. In President Biden’s case, if the Republicans take control of congress, the country can expect investigations into the President’s son, Hunter Biden, and the foreign policy surrounding the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“The midterm curse” also puts a halt to a lot of the legislation a president plans to pass. This could cause a major shift in the power of the presidency, adding to the many reasons why Americans should cast their votes during the midterms.

The midterm elections present one of the few times where the nation is voting entirely on local issues and candidates. Because these elections are so local, their issues are extremely important, as they directly impact your community. 

Texans can get ready to cast their ballots for state leaders and district-based representatives. During the election, the governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner and comptroller are all up for election. All of the U.S. representatives, state representatives, state senators and the state board of education members will also be on the ballots. Some of the positions for the state’s railroad commission will appear on the Texas ballot. All of these significant positions add to the weight of midterm elections.

The governor can be an extremely powerful position when members of their party are elected around them. In Texas, they act as the chief executive over the state. Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking his third term, but many speculate that it will be a close call between him and Beto O’Rourke. Abbott is a part of the Republican party, while O’Rouke is a part of the Democratic party. Mark Tippets, a member of the Libertarian Party, and Delilah Barrios, part of the Green Party, are also running for the spot as Texas Governor. 

The race for attorney general is also important, as they act as the top lawyer for the state, mostly representing the state with civil litigation. Ken Paxton is seeking his third term as attorney general, however, his time in the position has been surrounded by high-profile securities fraud indictment and FBI investigations on claims of malfeasance while serving. 

Paxton’s adversary in the race for attorney general is Rochelle Garza, a Democratic Civil Rights Attorney. Libertarian Mark Ash is also running for the position of attorney geneTexas House District 108ral.

The lieutenant governor acts as the second-highest executive in Texas. They rule over the Texas Senate. The current incumbent Lieutenant Gov. is Dan Patrick, a Republican who is running for a third term. The Democratic nominee for the position, Mike Collier, is challenging Patrick for the second time.

Several Texas communities will hold elections for the city, county and school board positions as well as local bonds and propositions to benefit their communities.

In Highland Park, voters have the opportunity to vote for their chosen candidates for the positions of the U.S. House District 24, Texas House District 108, Texas Senate District 12 and the State Board of Education District 12. 

The many positions appearing on the ballots will make a startling difference in communities around Texas. These spots hold a lot of power over controlling the laws in local neighborhoods, building on the many reasons why midterms are so influential.

The U.S. House makes and passes federal laws and is one of two chambers in Congress. While the Texas House acts as a speaker for Texans and the U.S. House, they maintain order and rule on procedural matters. These will impact Highland Park because these representatives make important decisions impacting laws in the U.S.

The Texas Senate is appointed to committees that deal with problems in the state. While the lieutenant governor appoints these representatives to their committees, it is up to the citizens of the state to determine who these representatives are. This will impact how problems in our state are addressed.

In the State Board of Education, they decide on the standard of policies and rules in Texas schools. This affects how schools function in Highland Park.

Each state has its own laws deciding the timeline of appearing on the ballot. This means that the primaries start in March and stretch through September.

For Texans, Oct. 11 is the last day to register to vote for your candidates in the midterm elections. To register to vote you must be 17-years-and-10-months old or 18-years-old to cast your ballot. To register in Texas ,you can print out a voter registration form and mail it to your local election office. You may also register to vote by going in-person. Another important note is that Oct. 28 is the final day to apply to be able to vote by mail.

Election day is on November 8. However, early voting starts on October 24 and goes until November 4. 

All Texans should participate in these midterm elections because they have an opportunity to impact their community and use their voice.

About the Contributor
CK Knutson
CK Knutson, Reporter
What is your favorite dessert? Strawberry cake What is your favorite way to relax? Playing softball If you had to be stuck on an island with a celebrity, who would it be? Emma Watson