Midterm elections are coming up: Here’s how to make an informed decision
By Deandra Han, Jennifer Rico, Charlie Stattion, Karla Tran and Jasmine Villegas
The process of voting for candidates who believe in our ideals of government is difficult, and it can be challenging to identify who is the right candidate. In this video, a few staff members from Summit Public School: Rainier talk about voting and what obstacles stood in their way when choosing their candidates. They discuss what makes a good or bad candidate and what difficulties there might be in voting.
See below for a video about Summit Rainier staff members voting:
What are midterm elections?
Every four years, presidential candidates run for office. Midway through the president’s term (every two years), members of the House of Representatives run for office. Senators campaign to be elected again every six years; although, only one-third of the Senate runs for re-election every two years in rotational periods. The legislative elections that occur halfway through a president’s term are referred to as midterm elections.
These midterm elections are important because the main conflict comes down between the Democrats and the Republicans. As of right now, the midterm election on Nov. 6 could affect which side the House of Representatives leans toward, and that could affect what happens to our current presidential administration, as well. In this midterm election, “flipping the House” could be a major turn-around for the Democratic Party in terms of which party takes control of the House of Representatives.
How to vote:
In California specifically, in order to vote, you have to be a citizen of the United States, a California resident and 18 years or older. You might face restrictions based on state laws regarding felony convictions or mental incompetence. If you meet all requirements, then you are almost ready.
The next step is to complete a voter application and submit it online or via email. An alternate way to register to vote is through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Either way, your application must be submitted by Oct. 22, 15 days before Nov. 6, if you want to vote in the midterms.
Once you have finished filling out the voter application and have submitted all of your information, an official from the area you live in will either confirm your voter registration or ask for you to elaborate on it. After this is completed, your voter registration will have been submitted, and you are ready to go.
What to look for in a candidate:
However, before completing the entire voting process, the first thing you need to decide is who you would like to vote for. In many situations, people would like to vote but do not know who to vote for. As a result, many times, people end up voting for someone randomly, instead of looking into what kind of candidate they are or researching what they stand for. Here are some things to do before deciding who to vote for in an election.
According to USA.gov, when you are trying to find more information on a candidate you’re interested in, you can find strengths about the candidate by researching their positions on certain issues and their leadership abilities. One way you can research more on the candidate you are interested in is by watching debates. By watching debates, you can learn more about your candidate and the issues they fight for before you make your final decision.
You should also research all the candidates who are running and compare or contrast them. You can do so by comparing the pros and cons of each candidate. The article also states, “A candidate’s voting history is public. If the candidate is running for federal office as a representative or senator, you can find their voting record on Congress.gov. For those who have held state office, you can contact your state legislature website.” Here’s the site for California.
Once you have done your research, you can find out more about the candidates by visiting the sites mentioned above. You can find out who is on the ballot in your district using this sample ballot tool from www.ballotpedia.org. After doing some research and studying or comparing different candidates, you will then have a better idea of who you are interested in voting for.