Record Turnout for Midterm Elections


Sarah Siock, Centurion Staff

Republicans’ enthusiasm for President Donald Trump and Democrats’ desire to renounce him caused a record number of Americans to vote for their representatives this midterm election.
Donald Trump’s presidency has caused a divide of opinions across America and the polls on Nov. 6 reflected this divide. People came out to the polls in hopes of shifting the balance of power in Washington.
The local polling places had people lined up ready to vote even before the doors opened.
Bucks County resident, Dennis Weldon, weighed in on why he felt this election attracted a high number of voters, “When one party is in power, the other side is always fired up,” said Weldon. “What makes this election special is that the Republicans are fired up as well.”
The number of registered voters that came out to the polls was approaching those of a presidential election. According to Bucks County Republican Committee member, Howard Schargel, by 3 p.m. 50 percent of registered voters in congressional house district number one had already showed up to vote. This percent was expected to rise before the polls closed later at 8 p.m. “People just keep coming, even in this rain,” Schargel added.
Schargel pointed out that the mass turnout in Bucks County voters could not only be due to the current administration, but to Bucks County’s desire for bipartisanship. “Candidates like Brian Fitzpatrick and Marguerite Quinn have shown that they will cross party lines, which is important to people around here” Schargel said. “It motivates voters to come to the polls to keep people like them in power.”
Fitzpatrick was able to maintain his position in the House of Representatives over opponent Scott Wallace. Fitzpatrick and Wallace had a fierce campaigns with several ads criticizing each other.
While Quinn lost the race for a seat in the Senate to Steve Santerserio. Quinn had previously served as a State Representative since 2007.
Perhaps, people have begun to realize the impact of their elected officials and that is what drove them to the polls.
Joe Flood, a candidate for State Representative, described the power of local government when he said, “I worked as a Doylestown Borough Councilman for years and from my experience, I can say the decisions made in local government directly affects everyone. Sometimes people can underestimate the power of their state representatives.”
“People see how much effort and money both parties put into the election, which can be a driving force to vote,” Flood added. Flood lost the election to candidate, Wendy Ullman.
Some felt that the results of last presidential election caused more voters to show up at the polls this time around. “Being irresponsible and not voting in the past is what got us into the mess we are in now,” said Democratic candidate for State Representative, Wendy Ullman. “Our voice is our vote and allows us to participate in the government,” Ullman added.Ullman was among the record number of women who were elected into the House of Representatives. Ullman’s husband, Dan, also weighed in on the large voter turnout when he said, “People came out to vote today because they are embarrassed of Donald Trump,” he also stated, “This is our response. Instead of fighting, we vote.”
With the record numbers of voters at the polls there was an expectation for a major shift of power. However, the results did not show the large blue wave that the Democrats had promised in Congress.
The Democrats were able to take majority in the House. However, the Republicans remained in control of the Senate. The results of the election mirrored the split opinions voters shared at the polls. This new spilt of powers in Congress could make it even harder for legislation to get passed.
The current state of our country has people expressing radical views on each end of the political spectrum. People, now more than ever before, are speaking their minds, which in turn, helped cause a large voter turnout. The fear of not having a voice in our government spiked the number of voters too, as voter, Dennis Weldon, put it, “If you don’t vote you don’t matter.”