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    The Unwash Guide to the 2022 Midterm Election

    the unwash • guide

    The 2022 midterm election has numerous issues up for grabs. Halfway through a Presidential term, the midterms are held for Senate and House seats. This election will determine if Democrats can maintain majority control of Congress and be a significant factor in whether the Presidential agenda will be able to progress forward. Recently the Supreme Court has released multiple landmark cases causing many Americans to want to head to the ballot box on November 8th. Voters are working to help hold onto hope for codifying Roe v. Wade, continuing to support LGBTQ+ rights, inflation reduction, and other human rights issues impacting the citizens of the United States. Some of the biggest concerns on the ballot include abortion rights, LGBTQ+ issues, immigration reform, and inflation. Numerous states are attempting to pass measures to eliminate abortion. A handful of close gubernatorial races, such as Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Beto O’Rourke in Texas, attempt to gain democratic leadership in both states. Many celebrities and G-Zers are encouraging people to vote to preserve democracy in the country and stop dangerous right-wing narratives.

    Important Voting Information

    Check to make sure your voter registration is up to date here

    The last day to vote is November 8th. Until then, you can vote early or drop your ballot off in a drop box. 

    Your voting options are to either vote in person on November 8th, drop your ballot at a designated drop box, vote by mail or absentee ballot, or vote early. 

    Bring your license and any other identification.

    Know your voting rights, especially if you are in a state facing high rates of voter suppression. The ACLU and Brennan Center for Justice are great resources. If you see voter intimidation, excessively long lines at polling sites, or have any voter-related questions, call 1-866-Our–Vote. 

    Be active in your community and help others on election day. Whether being aware of what is happening at your polling site and helping anyone needing assistance or even lending someone a ride, play your part in ensuring everyone has access to vote.

    “Across the country, extremist candidates are shamelessly using their final days on the campaign trail to advance grotesque and outrageous lies attacking and maligning LGBTQ+ people, designed to scare voters into supporting their campaigns,” – Joni Madison, the Human Rights Campaign’s Interim President

    What Are the Issues?

    Abortion is on the ballot this election due to the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. California, Michigan, and Vermont are attempting to gain further protections for abortion access in their states. In contrast, Kentucky is hoping to pass a measure to deny the right to an abortion. Montana has the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act on the ballot, which would fine or allot prison time to providers that do not provide what the state deems to be ‘life-saving care’ to infants, including penalties for abortion. Over the summer, Kansas tried to pass a similar measure to Kentucky. It failed, proving that many people need safe access to reproductive health care regardless of party. 

    Rising gas prices and worsening inflation across all industries concern voters considerably. Democrats were able to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, and with continued majority control in Congress, the party will attempt to continue to try to lower prices and negotiate trade deals. Supreme Court rulings such as the overturn of Roe v. Wade have proven to be an economic issue. Many Americans could not afford to have more than two children as there would be approximately $30,000 of additional yearly expenses. This election is very different from others as states are trying to pass harsher laws that most voters are not in favor of, which could deter voters from voting along party lines, especially concerning economic issues. 

    Right-wing candidates have built many campaign promises around fear-mongering of leftist ideologies. Matters on the school level around teaching evolution, climate change, the history of the United States, and critical race theory, a college-level course, have become a talking point for Republican candidates. In Florida, Ron DeSantis wants to ban teaching critical race theory, one again – a college level course, and many states have followed suit in these claims or have banned books with messaging that they believe it aligns with CRT. These dangerous narratives being pushed instill fear in many Americans with hopes of them showing up on election day. 

    LGBTQ+ issues, especially regarding transgender youth, have significantly shaped the midterm election. Anti-LGBTQ+ groups have spent tens of millions of dollars airing ads targeting the transgender community, mainly young people, attempting to spread dangerous misinformation. This has been a critical factor in the Florida governor race, where Democratic candidate Charlie Christ has slammed Ron DeSantis for having zero decency or kindness towards people that don’t look like or act like him. Targeting women, transgender youth, and the greater LGBTQ+ community is a fear-mongering tactic to put those communities in danger. People must head to the ballot box and protect their community members from extremist candidates and their proposed legislation. 

    Understanding the Midterms 

    The midterms determine how the next two years of a President’s term will go based on which party holds majority control of Congress. Ensuring a democratic majority will help push forward legislation protecting reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, climate issues, and inflation reduction. 

    It is essential in every election, not just the Presidential election, to participate in your civic duty to use your voice and vote for candidates that align with your values. Voting is just one part of our more prominent role in creating progressive change that benefits everyone. Every day we should be voting with our dollar and taking a stand for meaningful issues, but on November 8th, we need to take our voice to the ballot and demand that progress is furthered. Every vote matters, and the next generation will thank you. 


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