Story by Ellie Youngs, News Editor
Last week, the state of Michigan called the 2022 midterm election races, and the results are definitely worth discussing. The thing that may possibly be the most intriguing is the voter turnout for this election in contrast to previous midterm elections. To start, there are more Michiganders registered to vote than ever before. Historically speaking, the gap between the voting age population and registered voter turnout has been wide, this gap has been decreasing in Michigan in recent years. Last week, nearly 4.5 million voters showed up to the polls; that is an increase of roughly 144,000 people compared to the 2018 midterm elections.
Now that the races have officially been called, what do they mean? And why do they matter? For the first time since the early 1980s, the Democrats flipped both the house and the senate, giving them full control of the capitol. This election has also set some major milestones in regards to who has been elected: State Senator Winnie Brinks will be the first female senate majority leader, and State Representative Joe Tate, will be Michigan’s first Black speaker of the house. The shock of the Michigan election is present at the federal level as well as our own congressional district, where Hillary Scholten, the first Democrat to hold the position since 1974, has been elected. After what was initially anticipated to be a “red wave,” how did the democrats manage to pull this off? Proposal 3. Democratic voters made their statements quite clear as they filled in Yes on the ballot. In fact, this proposal may have been the sole reason for the election’s large turnout. 28 percent of Michiganders said inflation was their main concern when showing up to the polls, while 43 percent said that abortion was their biggest concern this election cycle.
This is not to diminish the impact that Proposals 1 and 2 had on the voter turnout, as both of these proposals also passed with a loud majority of votes in favor of their adoption. Proposal 1 was passed by 33 points, and Proposal 2 was passed by 20 points. The increase in college voters who showed up to the polls certainly did not hurt any of these proposals.
If the results of this election do not reflect just how important each vote is, then it is hard to say what would. Your vote matters, so use it!