Former Vice President Joe Biden arrived on campus last Thursday and voiced his support for five local congressional candidates in nearby districts, serving as a reminder that the midterm elections of 2018 are fast approaching with several close races in Orange County.
Without a clear-cut winner in the these districts, now is the time for young voters to make an effort and get to know who is running for their district, so they can vote for the candidate who best represents them.
The midterm elections for 2018 will include races for the entire House of Representatives, one-third of all senators, as well as local elections for governor or city mayor.
The midterms may not seem like a particularly compelling time to vote, especially when compared to the presidential election, but it’s vitally important to vote in the House races. The House of Representatives allows for constituents to determine who will represent the specific concerns for their district in Congress.
Under the current political climate, a change in seats in the House of Representatives could potentially loosen the hold Republicans had in 2016.
In Orange County, there is potential for a shift in political leanings.
During the 2016 election, 50.9 percent voted in favor of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but only 42.3 percent voted in favor of President Donald Trump, according to the statewide summary by county for president on the Secretary of State’s website — something the county hasn’t done in more than 80 years.
Voters from the 18 to 29-year-old demographic have been notorious for low voter turnout during past general and midterm elections. Even though they appear more enthusiastic about this year’s midterms, only 26 percent of voters said they were absolutely certain they would vote during the midterms, according to a 2018 Gallup survey.
Rather than repeat the same cycle of low voter turnout, young voters need to make an effort to get to know the local and congressional candidates in their election’s respective districts.
In the district that surrounds Cal State Fullerton, the 39th District, Gil Cisneros and Young Kim are the congressional candidates running for office.
The year 2018 has been a polarized year for politics, arguably more so than previous years due to the recent confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, the U.S. separation of families at the border and countless other compelling concerns surrounding the Trump administration.
CSUF’s Associated Students launched a Voter Registration Coalition in September in an effort to encourage voting. On the CSUF Portal, students can register to vote at any time. The deadline to register to vote in California is Oct. 22.
If young voters feel upset with the results of recent political actions, then taking an active stance during the midterms is critical. The results of this midterm could potentially change the next two years of legislative outcomes.
Students on campus shouldn’t depend on others to be their voice; they should actively participate if they want legislation that aligns with their beliefs.