By Staff Writer Elijah Santos.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Question 3 on the Massachusetts Midterms would allow transgender individuals to use bathrooms that do not correspond with their gender assigned at birth. This law is currently in effect, Question 3 deals with its repeal. Also, the author included an argument about the threat of abuse with this law, which remains largely unsubstantiated. This story has been amended to reflect this.
It’s that time of the year where mid-term election campaign ads flood our daily lives. “Vote for him” and “vote for her” cover YouTube ads, TV commercials, and radio sponsorships, and while you drive to work, school, or grandma’s house, there is a sea of endless political signs. But what is all this hype towards the midterm elections?
To begin to dissect this beast, mid-terms are a way for the American people to judge how the President is doing. If the President’s work has overall been approved by the American people, then the American people will vote for Senators, Representatives and Governors sharing similar political beliefs as the President. If the opposite occurs, and the American people want to ‘stick it to the man,’ then they elect officials who oppose the president’s political ideologies, and politically give the president a giant middle finger, and that is where the hype is.
A large percentage of Americans want to give a political middle finger, whether it be to each other or to the President. So most importantly, we are looking at the Representatives and Senators since they control very important aspects of our government.
Now, a Senator works in the Legislative branch of the government. Their job is to make laws and vote on them based on the people living in his or her state.
The senate also has the final say in treaties made by the President, and they approve or deny meetings the President makes to his Cabinet, ambassadors, federal judges, and civilian employees.
On the other hand, Representatives, also called congressmen and women, share an equal responsibility with law making as the Senate, but they are granted the ability to impeach a President, which is constantly being brought up onto the news.
In other words, by electing Senators and Representatives with contradicting ideologies of the President, it changes up the probability of the President wanting to achieve a certain objective. For example, when Brett Kavanaugh was nominated, it called for a vote by the Senate. As of right now, the Republicans hold a Senate majority.
Fifty-one Senate seats are Republican, forty-seven Democrat, and two seats for the Independents. When the vote for Kavanaugh was taking place in the Senate, the verdict came to a 50-48 approval of Kavanaugh’s appointments as a Supreme Court Justice. If the Democrats had ruled the Senate, many could argue, that Judge Brett Kavanaugh would not have been voted in.
Nationwide, there are 33 of the 100 Senate seats up for election this year. The two Independents, 23 Democrats, and eight Republican. Nationwide, polls are showing a 35% approval of President Donald Trump. This leads many to believe that most swing states will vote Democrat, after many voted Republican for the presidential race in 2016.
For representatives, the Republicans also hold a majority. Two-hundred-forty-eight Republican Representatives and one-hundred-ninety-twoDemocrats. Just like the Senate, Representatives are expected to become a Democrat majority following the 2018 mid-terms.
Besides voting for Governor, Massachusetts residents we will be voting on three questions, nurse patient limits, corporations’ human rights, and gender identity discrimination on November 6, 2018.
Nursing limits will regulate the amount of patient’s nurses have as well as making sure hospitals have a proper number of nurses to care for their patients. The second question will cover whether or not corporations will have human rights granted from the Constitution. The third and last question calls for the repeal of the Massachusetts statute relative to transgender anti-discrimination.
With the current law in effect, a trans person cannot be denied access to bathrooms, changing rooms, and other places of public accommodation.
Voting “No” on Question 3 is a vote for repeal, a “Yes” vote keeps the law in place.
Those who support a “No” vote believe that individuals could impersonate other genders and trespass in public areas with malicious intent. These claims are often refuted by those who support the “Yes” position, citing a lack of substantiating evidence.
Walking around campus The Torch asked a few students what they thought about the mid-terms and who they planned on voting for. Freshman at UMass Dartmouth, Curtis Melo, Civil Engineer major said, “I will be voting for Elizabeth Warren, but I think I am going to vote for Charlie Baker as Governor and will definitely vote yes on question one.”
Most students supported Charlie Baker and supported the passing of question one, the other two questions showed little interest. As a reminder, voting will take place on November 6, 2018, and it is very important to go out and vote. These mid-term elections have some of the lowest recorded votes and they affect us the most.
PHOTO COURTESY: CLICK2HOUSTON