What new voters need to know about the midterm elections

Indie Wilson and Hannah Soukup

First time voter? No worries. Many students at ECC carry the same title, and might have some of the same questions as you. Midterm elections were held on Nov. 8 and for many this was the first time they were eligible to participate.

Midterm elections happen every two years into a president’s term, and focuses on candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives. Midterms can have the same impact on the country as a presidential election, so many students are making their voices heard for the first time. 

“I probably didn’t prepare like I should’ve,” said first-year student, Shannon Levielle. 

“I had a vague idea of what the voting process was like and how to prepare. I should’ve researched who was running for what so I was 100% sure on who I was voting for.” Levielle said.

Participating in her second election, second year ECC student Makayla Flanders talks about her experience with voting and what she’s learned from it.

“I’ve learned since the first time I voted that every vote counts,” Flanders said. “It is your opinion and your values and you can’t let anyone tell you otherwise that your opinions and stances aren’t valuable.”

Flanders emphasizes the importance of patience because she noticed that tends to be the thing that makes people her age not want to vote. She explains that peers of hers don’t see change right away so they instantly let go of the hope they once had, driving them not to vote.

“I definitely know people who don’t care about voting and I think it’s because they’re uneducated or they don’t want to because of past experiences,” Flanders said. “I feel like they want change but don’t see it right away so they are discouraged to vote or they feel like they don’t know anything so they don’t feel like their vote matters.” 

She voices her opinion on the importance of voting in not just midterms, but every election. 

“I think midterm elections are just as important as presidential ones because each state has their own rules and regulations and I think voting for the state you live in is very important because each state is different,” Flanders said. “I think it is very important to vote because we have the right and not many places do. I think it is a great privilege.”

Casey Flatland, a second year student at ECC, talks about first time voting and the research she does to prepare.

“Something that I look out for is whether or not they are making realistic goals for their time in the position they are running for,” said Flatland. “A lot of the time those who are campaigning make huge commitments that ultimately never live up to what you want them to be when they are elected.”

This midterm being her first election, Flatland didn’t necessarily know how to go about voting. 

“To be completely honest, I’m not all that sure how the voting process will go but I have family and friends to look to for help,” Flatland said. 

For those who are also unsure about the process or who are interested in learning more, click here for registration help and here for additional information.