Midterm elections’ importance leads to increased voting registration efforts

Lucie Lagodich

The implications of the 2018 elections are notably consequential.

Turnover of one of the two houses could result in gridlock in Washington D.C. for the next two years. If the Republican party loses seats this fall, further investigations against the current presidential administration are likely, and if Congress changes party composition all together, this may even introduce the possibility of impeachment against President Trump, according to NBC news.

With such drastic ramifications, clubs including College Democrats, Planned Parenthood Generation Next and others, are planning on ways to make sure students on campus are registered to vote by Oct. 5, the voter registration deadline in Pennsylvania.

“The problem is people in the college age group vote at a very low level,” government and law professor John Kincaid said. “Eighteen to 24 voter turnout is one of the lowest voting categories out there. They don’t turn out in large numbers.”

President of College Democrats Daniel Markovits ’20 agrees that it is important for students to have their voice heard, and they are working hard to get students into the voting booths on Nov. 6.

They are currently working with Fight4Her, an activist group focused on policy change, in order to hold a rally on Sept. 26. The details are yet to be finalized, but they are hoping to have a few candidates from the region or even the district visit College Hill. Markovits said they want to make it easier for all students to register to vote and are working on setting up tables in Farinon Center, where students can drop by and register for the upcoming elections.

Anyone can register online but this involves a few extra steps, so they are urging people to register in person. Students can register to vote under their address at Lafayette, so they are pushing students to register in Pennsylvania.

“It’s quite likely that a lot of the campus is either not registered or is not registered [in Easton],” Markovits said, and “their vote is much more valuable here because we are both a swing state and a swing district, so this is probably one of the most valuable places in the whole country to vote.”

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania drew new district lines earlier this year, and this will likely produce a win in the district for the Democratic candidate Susan Wild, Kincaid said. On a national level, the results of the race in Pennsylvania have the potential to determine if the Democrats are able to win the number of seats needed to gain majority, or if the Republicans will continue to hold control of the house.

Kincaid added that nationally the democrats may pick up the house, and if this happens they are likely to frustrate many of president’s policy initiatives and may even push to impeach President Donald Trump. Trump is likely to exercise more executive powers, and there will likely be a drive to elect more federal judges into the supreme court within the next two years. If the House stays in Republican hands, Kincaid added, the country is likely to see the enactment of many more policies under Trump.

Whether voting in Pennsylvania or in their home state, getting college students to the polls is something both Kincaid and Markovits said they feel is important.

“It’s very difficult to get college students energized about this stuff, but if there is any election they should be it’s this one,” Markovits said.

“People always say that this is the most important election in their lifetimes, but there a good chance that this one is,” he added.