Tomorrow, midterm elections will be held across the country for positions including state mayors, the entire House of Representatives body, some Senate positions and more.
Election day is Nov. 8 this year. U.S. citizens starting at the age of 18 are able to cast their vote.
Dr. David Yalof, political science department head at the University of Connecticut, said it is important to vote in every election, not just the presidency because it is these smaller elections that give the president his power.
“People often forget that it’s these elections that determine how powerful the president can be. For example, by having a Democratic senate Biden will be able to continue to appoint federal judges,” Yalof said. “However, if the Republicans take control of the Senate, then Biden won’t be able to easily do that. These are the elections that determine how much power and discretion the president will have.”
Midterm elections also have a more direct impact on the everyday lives of individuals, assistant political science professor Dr. Talbot Andrews said.
“These elections are what’s going to impact you more. Your local politics are going to have a much more direct impact on your day to day life,” Andrews said.
The need for more student participation in the U.S. democracy and young people voting is important now more than ever, Andrews said.
“Older people are so much more represented in our democracy. Most of our political representatives are older, so older people are more likely to turn out and vote and that’s a self-perpetuating system,” Andrews said. “With young people not running, it’s hard to get young people excited to vote.”
While there is prior planning and specific processes and steps individuals must take in order to vote, Erin Logan, a fifth-semester student pursuing a special education major and English and ASL interpreting minors, said she has not faced too much trouble when preparing to vote.
“I have voted in all of the elections I have been able to participate in, including the 2020 presidential election and other local elections in my town,” Logan said. “Before I vote, I look up the different issues and people running so I am making an informed decision. It’s important to me to have a say in what decisions are made and who makes them.”
Yalof said younger aged individuals have the lowest voter turnout year after year.
“It’s important to understand how the process works and register in order to exercise your right to vote,” Yalof said. “It seems pretty straight forward, yet individuals aged 18 to 25 tend to vote in lower percentages than other age groups.”
Logan said it is important that youths like her understand U.S. democracy and the importance of voting.
“We are the future. Every decision made today will impact us in the future, so voting is crucial,” Logan said.
Andrews also highlighted the importance of every U.S. citizen being born with the right to vote.
“It’s both your civic duty to get out and vote, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to participate in U.S. democracy,” Andrews said.
For those currently residing in Connecticut who haven’t registered to vote yet, you can locate the EDR in your town starting at 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., the CT.gov website said. You must bring proof of residency and identification.
“I don’t know what the negatives are. There really is no reason not to vote, if it’s not a civic obligation, it’s a civic duty,” Yalof said.