This is why you should vote in the 2018 midterms (if you’ll be over 18)


Caroline Scheider-Williams, Online Editor-in-Chief

The midterm election is right around the corner, taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. According to various sources, including The New York Times, CNN and Fox News, it is expected to be a wave election. This is when there is a huge shift in political power from one party to another. This year the Democrats are favored to win. The speculation of the wave election is due to the widespread anticipation of high voter turnout and dissatisfaction with the current political atmosphere.

Many people choose not to vote in midterm elections because they are under the impression that they do not matter. According to, in presidential elections, an average of 60 percent of eligible voters will vote, but for the midterms, only about 40 percent of voters participate. However, midterm elections may be just as, or more important, than presidential elections.

“I do plan on voting this year,” said Daniel Clark (’19). “Voting is my civic duty to carry out.”

Clark is one of the many students at Madison who will be participating in this year’s midterm election. They are legally voicing their opinions on some of the country’s biggest issues for the first time.

This year, the major issues at stake include legislative power, investigations into the Trump administration and redistricting.

Legislation power is clearly a vital role to our country now more than ever. The extreme political polarization that exist in this current Congress may mean controversial laws will be passed with even less regard to compromise than ever before. For example, legislation on whether the Affordable Care Act and Medicare will continue to be funded, expansion of education, tax cuts and labor rights are all in consideration.

With the investigations involving the Trump administration being considered by some to be a bigger issue than Watergate, many Americans are curious the extent to which the Russians meddled in the 2016 election. (Both parties agree that the Russians did intervene, but the question is: how much?) But many Republicans oppose furthering the investigation, while the Democrats believe it should be expanded. This means this election will have a major impact on the outcome of the investigation and whether America will know the full truth.

Redistricting plays a huge role in the future of politics and can completely change its results. This is the process of changing the districts of a state to match its updated census. However, this can quickly turn into gerrymandering, which is redistricting with the intent of changing districts to favor one’s political party. The act is committed on both sides of the political spectrum, therefore it is important to be aware of candidate’s opinions on the issue.

All of these acts will be influenced by the election because the representatives elected will have a huge say in how these issues play out.

“I believe that it’s important to vote because people need to cast their opinions and take action on who they want to see as president, as governor or in public office,” Clark said.

If you are a citizen of the U.S., 18 years old by the election and have not been convicted of a felony, you are able to vote. How can you vote? Well there are multiple ways but first you have to register. In Virginia, the registration deadline is Oct. 15. There are several ways to register, but you can just fill out an online form and you will be ready come Nov. 6th.

Now, once you register, you have to decide how you will actually vote. You have three options: in person, absentee by mail or absentee in person. You can click here to begin the registration process.

“I’d tell people who are on the fence about voting to go out there and do it,” Clark said. “It’s important. Only you can take action on your own beliefs.”