The Power of Midterm Elections

I hear it all the time …

“I should have voted, but I didn’t. I can’t deal with the politics.”

I’m here to tell you, there is no more important thing that you can do right now than vote in the upcoming election.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Michigan voters will decide who will be the state's new governor, attorney general and secretary of state, as well as the outcome of three important proposals. Many state House and Senate seats also are up, as are two seats on the State Supreme Court. Across the country, more than 800 legislators will be elected this year.

Many voters don’t realize that when they cast their ballot, they are not only electing officials for the upcoming term, but possibly setting the stage for one party to control things well into the future.

Why? Because of gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is defined as manipulating voting boundaries to favor one party or class. Currently, the Michigan legislature is responsible for drawing boundaries, subject to the Governor’s veto power.

With Republicans in control since 2010, guess how the lines were drawn? You’re right. To ensure Republicans stay in power. Every year. Forever.

That’s why it’s so important for everyone to get out and vote.

The reason this year’s contests matter so much is that hundreds of the politicians who will have a say in redistricting in key states —will be elected to serve four-year terms.

That is: they’ll be the people who will redraw the lines in 2021, after the next census. So the more Democrats win, the better position they’ll be in to wipe out the existing, heavily pro-Republican state legislature gerrymandered maps.

The good news is, Americans appear to be more engaged with this year’s midterm elections than usual. Now almost half of registered voters report being more enthusiastic than usual about voting, up from 40% in 2014. Turnout has surged in the 31 states that already have held their congressional primaries – particularly among Democrats.

Let’s build on this momentum. Be sure to vote. Grab friends, family and co-workers and go to the polls together…

Let’s ensure our voices are heard not only on Nov. 6, but for our futures.

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