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The midterm elections were last Tuesday, November 6th, and we had an incredible turnout, especially millennials. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Roughly 31 percent of those aged 18 to 29 voted in the mid-terms, the highest participation level for that age group in a quarter century of midterm elections, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University”.

Now you may be wondering, who the heck won? Did we really make a difference? What did these elections even mean? Yes, you did make a difference, every vote counted, and we made big changes. For example, Democrats took control over the House with 218 seats. Here are a couple people that were elected into office due to the midterm elections.

Image credit: BBC

In Kansas, Sharice Davids secured her seat in the House of Representatives as the first Native American and openly lesbian woman to be elected. Brandon Woodard and Susan Ruiz were also elected as state officials, both openly gay as well. Jared Polis is the first openly gay governor to be elected in ANY STATE. EVER. Along with that, according to the New York Times, “L.G.B.T. people of color won several seats in state legislatures. They included Sonya Jaquez Lewis of Colorado, who is Latina; Shevrin Jones of Florida, who is black; and Malcolm Kenyatta, who is black and the first openly L.G.B.T. person of color elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature”.

Not only have we elected many people of color and different sexualities, we have passed a lot of good laws as well. In Florida, Amendment 4, giving voting rights to people with past felonies. That means more than one million people will regain the right to vote. Marijuana is now legal for medical and recreational use in Michigan, Wisconsin is proposing legalization for medical use, and Illinois is proposing it for recreational use. Utah and Missouri legalized medical marijuana. According to Vox, Massachusetts passed a law that states, “the nation’s first statewide vote on anti-discrimination protections for transgender people, prohibiting gender-based discrimination in public places”.

Our votes have made a huge impact on our current government and for the better. Although we cannot win them all, this past election showed the importance of voting. Any information you need about voting can be found here, vote.org. Register. Vote. Make a difference.

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Tory Appel

Columbia Chicago

Hello! My name is Tory Appel and I am a student at Columbia College Chicago studying advertising and photography. I am also working at 101.9 the Mix and 100.3 WSHE as a Promotional Assistant, and I'm loving every minute of it! In my free time I like to take portraits, read, and watch scary movies.
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