It is no secret that midterm elections don’t pull as many voters as presidential elections, despite the number of important positions being elected on both the local and state levels in both elections. According to Fairvote, only 40% of eligible voters participate in midterm elections, compared to the 60% turnout rate of presidential elections. This is particularly terrifying when coupled with the realization that young people don’t vote as frequently as their older counterparts. In the 2010 midterm elections, the younger age demographic ranging from ages 18 to 24 only brought in 21% turnout rate, as specified by The Economist. The ultimate outcome of these national findings is blatant: Americans, particularly young Americans, are not involved in non-Presidential elections!

1. Your Vote Matters!

After witnessing the variance between the popular vote which supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election and the resulting votes electoral votes which won Donald Trump the presidency, it easy to see why individuals might be discouraged to patriciate in any election, regardless of its presidential or midterm status. However, many times in history has an election been overturned by one vote. As outlined by Mentalfloss, in 1994, two candidates were running in Wyoming’s midterm election for House of Representatives. Each candidate won 1,941 votes, and produced such a similar outcome during recounts that the governor ultimately drew a ping pong ball out of his hat to pick a representative for the people. Your vote could have been the substitute for the ping pong ball!

2. Don’t Let Age Discourage You!

As a young person, it can sometimes be difficult to connect to a running candidate, especially as our elected body is aging over time and becoming further distanced from the younger 18 to 24 populous. According to Quorum in 1981, the average age of a Representative was 49 years old, while a Senator was only a few years older at 53. By 2017, the average age of Representative has jumped almost ten years to 57, while Senators are now around 61. Younger people may be concerned that law makers don’t care about the same issues as the younger populous, but refusing to vote only further cements the sentiment lawmakers won’t need to care about young people if they don’t have to appeal to their demographic in their policies to obtain the vote.

3. Midterms Matter

In this particular election, voting during the midterm election matters more than ever! If you disagree with policies that the current administration has made, or you wish for the party in power to remain so, it is time to cast your vote and either change up the makeup of the House and Senate or cement the power structures that are already in place. In this midterm election, if the Republicans gain even more footing in the House and the Senate, with Donald Trump at the head of the executive branch, the Republicans could run through new policies and laws without the check of the Democrats. While it is debatable, many believe the last time one party had control over all three branches of the government during specific time frames spanning 2001 to 2007. The Republicans arguably had control over the three branches during instances in the Bush administration although it was complicated between 2001 and 2003, as senators switched party affiliation, deaths occurred, and the 2002 midterm allowed the Democrats to gain footing once more.

Please vote! Find the poll nearest to you: