Claire Boyle

Staff Writer

Voting fulfills our civic duties. Photo Credit:

The 2018 Midterm elections are in less than a month, and it is very important to vote because voting fulfills our personal fulfillment of our civic duties and allows for a more complete, democratically-elected representation of America. The Midterm elections are held every two years to determine whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the House of Representatives as well as some Senators who are at the end of their terms and are up for re-election.

Active participation in American politics is critical because this is the most effective way normal people are able to shape how their government works; voting puts those in power who eligible citizens believe are best suited to represent their states on the national stage. These politicians then go on to work in the legislative branch of the U.S. government, whose traditional tasks are to write laws, enforce them, and provide checks-and-balances on the executive branch.

The politicians who are chosen in the midterms will provide a consensus on how America thinks based off of whoever becomes the majority party because of voting. This is where citizens come in because an accurate representation can only be achieved if a large number of people vote. Unfortunately, voter turnout in the U.S. when compared to other developed countries. The Pew Research Center reported, “that in 2016 the U.S. voter turnout was about 56% [whereas] other countries like Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark [all had theirs in the] 80% range” ( Pew mentioned that a possible reason for this was because these three countries all had compulsory voting while the U.S. does not.

Here are some helpful tips to get started. The deadline to register to vote online is October 21, 2018, and you can go to the Illinois Online Voter Application for information. The New York Times also has a very insightful link titled “Everything You Need to Know for the Midterm Elections”( Registering to vote will make everyone more active citizens in the U.S. since people are now participating in how their government works which is one of our fundamental rights as a democracy.