Election Day may be behind us, but that does not mean that politics end until 2016.
A deplorable number of people showed up on Tuesday to cast their ballots in the midterm elections. Now, the Republican Party controls the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Some have said there is a correlation between the two, while others credit President Barack Obama’s low approval rating.
However, one thing is clear: Americans do not care enough to try and make change in the country. According to Pew Research, 13 percent of voters were under 30 years old. Meanwhile, voters ages 45 to 64 made up 43 percent of the voter demographic. In 2012, Pew Research reported that 19 percent of voters were under the age of 30 and the last midterm election saw 12 percent of voters under the age of 30.
A report from U.S. News and World Report shows that in New York state, about 6 percent less voters came out on Nov. 4 than in 2010. The trend was not unique to New York. However, 12 states reported a higher turnout this year than in 2010, according to the report.
Should we just expect less voters to come out of the woodwork in non-presidential election years? There’s no reason to. Exercising the right to vote is something most, if not all, Americans should do. More people could probably name the last winner of American Idol, but not one of their state or federal lawmakers and that’s unfortunate.
Most lawmaking that directly affects voters is done at the state level. Hundreds of laws are passed yearly and few pay any attention at all. More people are worried about catching the Ebola virus.
The political fights are not over, as the Republicans need to officially decide who their leader in the Senate will be as they try to take down Obamacare. There’s a lot that will be discussed in the coming months ahead, but one thing is certain: What happens cannot be blamed on one political party or the other, but on the American people who failed to show up on Election Day.
Obviously 2016 will be a big year for voter turnout as we elect a new president. So here’s to 2018 (the next midterm election); may more voters turn out to support their candidates.