Vote and Make Your Voice Heard:  A Brief of the 2018 Midterm Elections 🗽🇺🇸✅ | spoiled NYC


The 2018 Midterm elections will take place on November 6th. 

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs, 35 seats in the Senate, and 36 state governorships and three U.S territory governorships.

This election will focus on legislation regarding healthcare, budgeting for social welfare programs, the future of the GOP tax bill, and most importantly the 2022 redistricting process.

Right now, the Republican party holds the majority in the Senate (54:44, with two senators belonging to a third party) and the House of Representatives (246:188, with one seat currently vacant). 

With 35 Senate seats (26 Democrats, 9 Republicans) available, there’s not much room for error for the Democrats if they hope to take control of the Senate. 


Their ability to block Republican legislation for the rest of President Trump’s term depends on their ability to flip either house of Congress. However, if the Republicans maintain their majority for the 115th Congress, they’ll be able to pass two of their highest priority bills: the repeal of Obamacare, and the tax reform bill.

An article published by The Lancet, a weekly published medical journal, discusses the future of the ACA as well as the future of Roe vs. Wade (1973).

“This year’s midterm elections will put a wide range of health policy proposals to voters. Florida, Maine, Idaho, and Utah will decide whether to expand Medicaid. Other notable votes will take place on a policy amendment in Alabama that would eliminate any state funding or provision of abortion, a sales tax exemption on feminine hygiene products in Nevada, and, in Massachusetts, an anti-discrimination veto that would roll back transgender equality legislation passed in 2016.”

Other Programs on the budget chopping block would include Medicare & Medicaid, and Social Security over the span of a decade. Other government-run programs on the chopping block include retirement and funding for federal student loans. This article for Politico goes more in depth on the numbers.

For more information on the GOP tax bill, check out these articles from the Washington Post, here and here.

The 2022 redistricting process, taking place after the 2020 census,  will decide the legislative boundaries for each respective state until 2030. These legislative boundaries determine the number of representatives each party will have per state.

Dummies sums up the redistricting process in this article

“Redistricting is the process of drawing boundaries for electoral and political districts in the U.S. and is usually done every ten years after the census. The U.S. Constitution requires each Representative in Congress represent an equal number of citizens and mandates a census to determine the number of citizens and apportion seats to each state… In most states, the state legislature redistricts seats, usually subject to concurrence by the state governor.” 


However, with redistricting comes the practice of gerrymandering. 

“Gerrymandering is the practice of dividing election districts to give special advantages to one group and usually to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the opposition’s voting strength in the fewest districts possible. This is done by manipulating the geographic boundaries of electoral districts to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts.” 

A partisan division of electoral boundaries in favor of the reigning political party becomes possible because the state legislature and governor decide the redistricting the state. 

If one party holds a majority of voters, boundaries could be drawn in order to group as many of the majority voters into one district in order to decrease the amount of districts they can win. 

Even a party with the minority of voters can have more representatives because they would have a larger number of districts. This video by YouTuber CGP Grey explains gerrymandering in very simple with an easy-to-follow animal kingdom metaphor.

The senators elected for the 2018 election would be in office to draw new boundaries, which would remain in effect until 2032.

Finally, it’s possible that The United States can expect a blue swing if young voters, especially women, show up to the polls this year. A Wall Street Journal article published in 2017 discusses the importance of women for the election.

“When Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, they were propelled by a big swing toward the party among women. Now, signs are emerging Republicans could be handicapped in 2018 by women shifting away from the GOP… In particular, women with a four-year college degree have moved toward favoring Democratic control of Congress, recent polling shows, helping to account for a substantial Democratic lead in multiple surveys on the question of which party people want to see leading Congress after the midterm elections.”

This election will also rely not just on young people and women, but minority demographics as well. George Packer, an American journalist, speaks about the importance of the minority vote in an article published by The New Yorker.

“The demographic groups that are least likely to vote—young people, Latinos, and those with a high-school education or less—tend to be Democratic constituencies. This tendency has been especially stark in the past two midterm cycles: in 2014, the turnout among eligible voters aged eighteen to twenty-nine was seventeen percent—one in six. 

The disappearing Democratic voter also affected the latest Presidential election, when, for example, African-American turnout dropped almost five percent from 2012—a crucial difference in the three key states that gave Trump the Electoral College.”

Past election voting data has shown Republican voters have a higher turnout rate than Democrats. Part of the Democrat’s lower turnout rate is partially due to voter restriction policies. The largest demographic of voters for the Democratic party include young people with a high school level education or lower, Latinos, and African Americans. 

In states with a large number of these demographics, voter suppression tactics are used to swing elections. An article published by the Guardian reports on the purging of  340,000 voters from the rolls. Other voter suppression tactics include not offering same-day registration, which reduces voter turnout rates. (You can read more about those reasons through articles published by FairVote, and an article by FiveThirtyEight, and an article by PBS News Hour. The Brennan Center also has an interactive graphic where you can view voter restriction policies by state. This article by explains how millions of eligible Americans are unregistered to vote.)

The future of the nation is in your hands. Read through a few of the links, decide where you fall and make your voice heard. Use the  New York City Poll Site Locator by typing in your address.


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