JillianCraig/ May 14, 2018/ News

Jillian Craig 
eSomethin Staff

Seniors that are eighteen years old can vote this year in the midterm elections. A lot of seniors at this point in the school year are eligible to vote as long as they register beforehand. Before the midterm election takes place, a primary election will take place on May 8th.

A few questions that seniors may have include what primary elections are, what the midterm elections are, and how each senior can register to vote.

The first way is to go and register to vote. Currently, the deadline to register to vote in the primary in May has lapsed. Seniors, however, can register to vote in the midterm election as long as they do it by October 9th. Seniors can register to vote at the Perrysburg Bureau of Motor Vehicles, online at https://olvr.sos.state.oh.us/, in person at the Wood County Board of Elections building (1 Court House Sq, Bowling Green, OH), or by mail using the PDF on the Board of Elections website. No matter what route you choose to register, you will need an Ohio state-issued ID, and either a birth certificate or a social security card with you and registration is free. 

To start, the primary election takes place to decipher the candidates who will be on the ballot for political parties in November. The primary election will take place on May 8th. American government teacher Mr. Josh Spiegel says that “voting is the way to get your voice heard.”

Unfortunately, the voter registration for the primary election is closed, but seniors can still register to vote in the final, midterm election in November, the final decision on which candidate will get the position they ran for.

In this election, voters are making the final decision on who they want for governor, state representatives, and senators.

The Democratic candidates running for governor include Richard CordrayLarry Ealy, Dennis Kucinich, Bill O’NeillPaul Ray, and Joseph Schiavoni. The Republican candidates are Mary Taylor and Mike DeWine.  Independents and third-party candidates include Constance Newton and Collin Hill.

The Democratic representative candidates James Neu Jr. and John Michael Galbraith, and the Republican candidates include Bob Latta (incumbent, or returning candidate), Bob Kreienkamp, and Todd Wolfrum.

The Democratic Senate candidate running unopposed in his party is Sherrod Brown and the Republican candidates include Melissa AckisonDon Elijah EckhartMike GibbonsDan Kiley, and Jim Renacci.

The primary and midterm elections have consistently shown significantly lower voter turnout in comparison to the presidential primary and general election. According to the Pew Research Center, despite the fact that 86.8 percent of the United States’s population is eligible and registered to vote, only 55.7 percent of that group went out and voted (as of 2016). In comparison to other countries, it’s pitiful.

Voter turnout has been paltry for the past few elections, but the primary and midterm elections see even fewer voters than the presidential election.

Honors American government teacher Mr. Patrick Murray says that “The margin of victory is very narrow, especially in Ohio, and the number of people that were eligible to vote that didn’t always well surpasses that margin of victory. So, more people are going out there and having their voices heard.”

The Pew Reseach Center suggests that there are significantly fewer voters at the midterm election because voters are not nearly as passionate about voting for people to represent their ideas as they are voting for a leader. Another proposed idea as to why people vote is the belief that the public holds that their vote means nothing.

Murray suggested that there is “The idea that, ‘the groups that don’t vote in this country are the groups that the government cares the least about because the job of government is to get re-elected. And so, if you’re not out there voting and you’re in a voting block that doesn’t tend to vote, then the government isn’t interested in helping you out.’ Right now, that’s college students.

I think that that’s the way to get your voice heard. There’s a lot of people that think that the system is gamed and they think that it favors one person over the other and that it favors people that have more money than other. But when you go and vote, your vote counts the same as any other single person’s vote in America. So you gotta go out there and get your voice heard.

Our 18-year-old seniors that are heading to college, if they really want some policy decisions to be made in their favor, that’s not gonna happen unless they go out there and get their voices heard.”

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