Editorial: New York needs you to vote tomorrow

Midterm elections are important, and New York residents have an opportunity to cast their ballots tomorrow. They shouldn’t waste it.


Samson Tu

A polling site in New York City. (Samson Tu for WSN)

WSN Editorial Board

Tomorrow is Election Day. If you’re not a New York resident, you’ve probably already registered to vote in your home state and sent in your absentee ballot. But if you are, tomorrow is your chance to go in person to a polling site and cast your ballot in this year’s midterm elections if you haven’t already. 

And it is absolutely critical that you vote. 

During midterm elections, citizens elect state officials and congressional representatives. State governors are responsible for state-level legislation, which, this year, will affect issues including abortion rights and cannabis legalization. Midterm elections don’t directly affect the presidency, but they change the party balance in Congress, meaning it could be more difficult to pass federal legislation. Midterms also allow voters to indirectly express their opinion of the president and set a benchmark for political leaders to expect in 2024 during the next presidential election.

But despite all those factors, many voters, especially college-age adults, do not cast their ballot midterm elections. The 2020 presidential election had a historic 66.8% voter turnout, but the preceding midterm election in 2018 had barely over 50% — lower than the presidential election, and only half of registered voters, even though it was a record high. People dismiss midterm elections as less important. But Democrats — the president’s party — are expected to lose the House, and specifically in New York, there is no room for error. 

New York is considered one of the most liberal and safely blue places in the country, but it’s potentially facing a red future. Kathy Hochul, the incumbent governor, is the fourth consecutive Democratic governor — and instead of being safely ahead, she is closely competing with Republican candidate Lee Zeldin, recent polling shows. Hochul, who took the reins after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation last year, has done well with the year she has been in office. Largely unknown at the beginning of her tenure, Hochul has since advocated for stricter gun laws and codified abortion into state law

Zeldin, her competitor, has been downplaying his anti-abortion history and support of former President Donald Trump. He promised to call a state of emergency on crime, suspending cashless bail and likely increasing police presence. New York Republican congressional candidates are also picking up steam in districts they haven’t held before, such as Hudson Valley and Long Island. 

The electoral races are tighter than usual, and New York’s governorship is not guaranteed blue for the first time in over a decade. There is a glint of red in sight, and Republican voters will be flocking to voting booths because of it. Balanced voter turnout is critical to ensure that New York’s elected officials represent the majority opinion of its constituents — not just those who showed up to cast their ballots. 

That’s why it’s necessary for you to go vote tomorrow if you’re a New York resident. It’s easy to say that individual votes don’t matter in historically blue or historically red states, but New York’s gubernatorial election is no longer guaranteed, and your vote is critical to making that decision.

In the long run, there are ways to help on top of voting. Volunteering with campaigns, making or signing petitions of activist groups, and even protesting can be effective methods for making change. But voting in the midterm election is the bare minimum, because politicians are determined by that result, and so is their policy. The midterm elections set a precedent for the presidential election in two years — make sure that precedent is what you want it to be. 

Tomorrow is the best opportunity to make your voice heard. Don’t waste it. Go vote. 

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. Opinions expressed in the house editorial reflect the views of WSNs Editorial Board.

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