Students have their say

SPU students voice their opinions on the midterm elections

David Armour, Staff Writer

Voting for the 2022 midterm elections has concluded. As of midday on Nov. 15, the Democrats have taken the Senate, while Republicans are leading in the House.This election saw a  record voter turnout, most prominent in the youth vote as many younger voters stepped up to the ballot box for the first time this year, including SPU students.

To second year politics major Audrey Rekedal, the elections represented a chance for college students to express their views and make an impact.

Infographic representing the 2022 Washington elections. Data found: (Shianne Herman)

“The midterm elections give us a chance to support our local government in enacting change,” Rekedal said. “Many people are under the impression that their vote doesn’t count, but this has led to only about 40% of eligible voters going to the polls.”

The state of Washington elected a Democratic senator, though the house results are split with one election still undecided as of writing. Despite this, King County voted overwhelmingly blue, leading third year business and economics major Brandon Cook to conclude that voting is pointless in a county with a near-certain outcome.

“I didn’t vote because my politics generally align with the location that I currently live in, and there’s no chance of that swinging,” Cook said. “Because of this, voting would just be a waste of time. Any election is important, but is this election any more important than any other? I don’t think that we’ll see any super significant changes in our day-to-day life.”

Despite the unsurprising results in King County, not all counties or states have such certain outcomes. Few students know this better than third year student and cellular and molecular biology major Angelique Moten, who has been following the election results from her home state of Texas closely.

“I wasn’t able to vote in the midterm elections because my out-of-state ballot request form was denied, but I’ve been following the results of the election,” Moten said. “Considering that there’s a lot at stake right now when it comes to simple human rights such as women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and minority rights in my home state of Texas, the wrong people in power could cost a lot of people their rights and their lives.” 

To fifth year applied human biology major Zachariah Rotcschiller, voting is important if you want to make a contribution, even if the election does not matter.

“I voted, and part of what made me feel like I made a contribution was researching every candidate first and driving each of my family’s ballots to the box,” Rotcschiller said. “I felt like this election wasn’t very important because I haven’t heard via word-of-mouth anything groundbreaking yet.”

Though most races have been decided, a few outliers still remain, most notably another runoff election in Georgia between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. In the house, 21 races remain uncalled, with many of them reporting less than a single percentage point difference between the leading candidates. Many of these outcomes will be affected by new voters who decided to cast their ballots for their preferred party for the first time.

Every ballot cast represented an individual’s vision for what America should be. Even with the midterms’ outcome uncertain, the resolve of the students who voted is clear.

“College students are constantly fighting for social change,” Rekedal said. “This makes voting a great opportunity to research and vote for people and propositions that can affect our everyday lives.”