To the Polls!
November 9, 2018
The November 6th midterm election was possibly one of the most historic elections nationwide since the 2014 elections. There was a drastic 111% early voter increase in Florida alone. Florida’s midterm elections included the race for governor, senator, and the 8th Congressional District re-elections. Democrat Andrew Gillum lost against Republican Ron DeSantis for governor (more on their campaigns here), which could have been a historical election on Gillum’s behalf, making him the first black governor of Florida if he had been elected. Democrat Bill Nelson lost against former Florida Governor and Republican Rick Scott by 15,090 votes. With the results being so close, Florida is undergoing a recount since the results are within the 0.5% margin of error. Republican Bill Posey remains in the House after defeating Democrat Sanjay Patel in a not-so-close race, as it is difficult to turn blue in Florida. Other immense elections took place elsewhere, such as the Beto O’Rourke v. Ted Cruz election in Texas, where Cruz won in a very close race. Several other historic wins occurred: Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress, and Sharice Davids became the first Native person to be elected to Congress. Colorado also elected its first openly gay governor, Democrat Jared Polis.
Why has there been such a drastic increase in voter turnout? Younger generations have taken to social media to get the word out to register to vote and then actually go vote. The importance of voting has become increasingly apparent, and many people want to see change. Many celebrities such as Rihanna, SZA, John Legend, Drew Barrymore, Grant Gustin, and Tom Hanks have also been vocal, taking to social media to urge their fans and followers on the importance of voting. Essentially, the youths’ Twitter feeds were filled with other people telling them to go vote, which is why they did. However, with the older generations outweighing the younger in population, the results were both so close and so far away. There were still some virtuous elections and wins, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becoming the youngest woman to ever to be elected Congress at the age of 29. In Harris County, TX, 19 Black women were all elected judges. Personally, I’d like to see literally anyone else be governor for Texas and Florida, but in retrospect I feel like there’s at least one win for Democrats and Republicans to be satisfied with.
Four million adolescents turned 18 this year, which means four million new voters nationwide. Of these new voters, over 19 Satellite seniors exercised their right to vote as legal adults and four gave their feedback on their voting process as first-time voters.
1. Describe your motivation to vote.
2. How was the voting process for you as a first time voter?
3. Do you feel that voting is impactful? Why or why not?
★ Velouria Loya, 12
1. “I’ve always been told to make my vote count. I vote for my family members who
with bad policies aren’t/weren’t able to vote and I also want to help shape the future generations and keep away from disrespectful leaders and bias against marginalized individuals.”
2. “[The voting process] was really easy!! I got my ballot in the mail. And at the voting center everyone clapped for me because I was a first time voter.”
3. “Every single vote counts. We should be as loud about [voting] in the polls as we are about in online. Our votes determine what changes we want to
see in our community and what directly affects the U.S. and our families.”
★ Matthew Burdick, 12
1. “I decided to vote today because in today’s fragile political climate, I believe every vote matters no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall. Standing up for what you believe is right (or fighting against what you think is wrong) is extremely important in today’s society.”
2. “The voting process was overall very quick and easy; I was in and out of the polling station in what was about 10 minute or less.” Burdick adds, “Not gonna lie, I didn’t know who a lot of the people were on the ballot.”
3. Voting is definitely impactful as one vote could potentially change the course of policy and political climates as we know it.”
★ Samantha Sear, 12
1. “I recently turned 18, which means I am legally of age to vote. My motivation to go vote was to voice my opinion in my own way, even if it is just a ballot. My hope is that our government will change for the better.”
★ Tanner Madsen, 12
1. “I wanted to [vote] because it’s my first time.”
2. “[The voting process] was very easy, the lines weren’t long. It was pretty good.”
3. “I believe [voting] is impactful because every vote counts. It can change the way election works and how the process is.”
Lastly, in an effort to acknowledge the voices of the youth, Satellite students weigh in on a poll about the Florida results.