Senators and Representatives are elected to Congress during the midterm elections. Photo by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0].
Fountain Valley High School

Opinion: Midterm elections matter

The midterm elections are held two years after the presidential election, which puts them in the middle of the presidential term and gives them their namesake.

The next midterm elections will be in 2022 when all 435 seats of the House of Representatives and 34 out of the 100 seats of the Senate will be up for election. With the responsibility that Congress has, the midterm elections are equally as important as the presidential race.

Traditionally, the midterm elections have had a low voter turnout compared to the presidential elections, with only about 50% of eligible voters actually voting in the midterms. The reason for the lower voter turnout could be due to the fact that not many voters actually know what a midterm election is.

There needs to be a higher voter turnout — the midterm elections can significantly change the direction of the presidency and the future of the country.

Republicans, for example, regained control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, allowing them to confirm or deny any Supreme Court nominations including that of the current confirmation process of Amy Coney Barrett.

The midterm elections are also regarded as a referendum on the current president and/or their party’s performance. The president’s party usually loses seats in both chambers of Congress.

This occurred recently in the 2018 midterm elections with Republican President Donald Trump as the incumbent which had Democrats gain 40 seats in the House of Representatives and the majority for the first time since 2010.

The right to vote is one of the most powerful things we can do as American citizens. It gives us a voice in how the country should be run. Schools must teach the significance of all elections and their potential impact on our lives and the lives of future generations.

Outcomes of midterm elections may determine what bills and nominees for federal offices pass or fail. They can make or break a president’s term. If you’re eligible to vote, for the sake of our future and America’s future, please vote.