By Amani Clark-Bey
Howard University News Service
This election season has seen voter engagement up across a variety of civic activities. Early voting registration numbers skyrocketed since the last midterm elections in 2018.
More people say they registered to vote because they truly believe their votes now matter for their respective party.
Going to the polls in person seems to be a priority for many this election cycle. While 1.4 million voters have requested to vote by mail, the 70 percent who have not are mostly Democrats.
Many Americans showed up to vote early in record numbers across several states. Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida experienced huge early voting turnouts.
Georgia was well over its previous early voting turnout in 2018, growing from 400,000 voters to more than 750,000 voters. North Carolina and Ohio were up 114% and 75%, respectively, compared to the previous midterm election.
“There is high interest in these states,” said Ryan Deto, TribLive politics reporter, of the trend. “Republicans are not in power, and there’s typical Republican enthusiasm to vote due to inflation and gas prices. You aren’t seeing a lack of enthusiasm for the Supreme Court ending Roe v. Wade.”
“There are a lot more people engaged with the election. A higher turnout in the election is [due to] the combination of the opposite party being in power and more money being spent on political ads, [where] you are seeing both Republicans and Democrats setting records.”
The push for younger voters may have the most impact on Election Day.
Jordan Graham, a freshman at Robert Morris University, realizes how important it is for young people to vote.
“Now that I am 18, I feel my opinion holds weight,” Graham said. “The power is in my hands, and I have a decision to make.”
Graham sees and appreciates the advocacy for those in his generation to get engaged. “There are tons of flyers around campus that are helping promote the midterm election to younger voters,” he said. “People need to be educated and informed on who’s running and understanding who’s running on both sides.”