For many college students, the 2022 midterms mark the first election in which they are coming of age to vote or are voting for the first time. While the youngest generations of eligible GEN Z and Millenials are sometimes unlikely to vote, many agree that the electoral process is important. Midterm elections are just around the corner.
However, midterms typically see fewer voters going to the polls compared to the presidential election. Though many would argue the midterms are equally as important than the presidential election. During midterms, U.S. citizens can vote for governors, state legislatures, local councils and school boards, and almost one-third of the 100 seats of the U.S. Senate and all 435 seats of the House of Representatives are also at stake.
“It’s important for citizens to vote for every election if they are able,” said Cedar Rapids mayor, Tiffany O’Donnell. “What’s often missed is that local elections have the most impact on your day-to-day life,” she noted. “Whether it’s city, government or even school board elections the decisions we make directly affects your life.” Many students also agree with keeping up and being part of the electoral process. Samantha Camanelli, a Network System & Administration major, said, “For government, if you don’t vote, your voice doesn’t get heard.”
Moreso than national elections, the local electoral process tends to affect property taxes, policing, school curriculums and other day-to-day aspects of citizens. Often times, these issues are treated with less priority than those at the federal level, O’Donnell added.
“I would also say it’s never more important that engaged citizens do their research on multiple platforms from multiple sources. The internet makes it very accessible but also make sure you’re getting your information from multiple sides,” O’Donnell said.
Computer Software major, Mekhi Wright agreed. “Younger adults need to stay connected to the government,” she said.
According to campusvoteproject.org, 21 percent of eligible voters are ages 18-29 in 2014, but had a record low turnout at 17 percent.
However, in recent years, more voters in the age group have seen record voting. Washington Post reported that college student voter turnout has doubled from 19 percent to 40 percent for midterms.
“It’s a job, engaged citizens have a job to do when it comes to researching candidates,” said O’Donnell.
Of course, a lot of students have recently reached voting age, such as Business Admin major Kailee Jacobs, who said, “Previously, I wasn’t able to part take [in the electoral process] since I just turned 18.”
Outreach Coordinator | Distribution Manager