Every Election is Important — More So This Midterm Election

By Kollengode S. Venkataraman

Midterm elections draw only highly committed, partisan citizens to polling stations, compared with the quadrennial presidential ones. Voter apathy, particularly among independent voters, is the root cause.  These independent voters, if only they go to midterm polls, can change the tone of the political discourse and outcome of elections even in partisan districts.

In both State House and the Senate in Harrisburg for the last three decades Republicans have been in control most of the time. See the table below (source: www.tinyurl.com/PartyinControlofPA-StateHouses):


For the last twelve years, in the General Assembly’s both chambers, the GOP has been in the majority, with a Democrat in the Governor’s office for the last eight years. In 2018, only with a Democratic governor, the state was saved from the GOP-controlled General Assembly gerrymandering the electoral districts to unfairly benefit them, when they redrew the electoral districts. See the article here: www.tinyurl.com/PA-RedistrictedMaps. In this background, this November, three elections are important:

1. For Governor’s office: In the November election, it will be an uphill task for Democrats to gain control of either chamber in the General Assembly in Harrisburg. However, the chances for individual house districts have improved because of the redistricting of the electoral map. So, a Democrat in the Governor’s office is necessary for checking the GOP’s muscle power in both chambers of the General Assembly. Besides, the GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano’s extremely conservative position on women’s reproductive rights is troublesome after the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade earlier this year. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro is moderate on this important issue. We need to elect him as our governor. His veto power will have a moderating influence on the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

2. US Senate: Our Lt Gov. John Fetterman is the Democratic candidate for the US Senate. He is known to our readers as the mayor of Braddock.  Mary Ganguli in her article is persuading voters to send Mr. Fetterman to the US Senate. Besides, his GOP opponent, the TV morning show star Dr. Mehmet Oz,  appears clueless to the needs of our moderate working class voters’ anxieties and needs. 

3. Pennsylvania House District 30: Arvind Venkat, a practicing ER physician, is trying to expand his horizon beyond ER medicine. He wants to represent District 30 in Harrisburg’s House of Representatives as a Democrat. Martin Carl and Kathy Poole are persuading voters in their write-up to vote for Arvind Venkat. 

So, on November 8, please go to the polls and discharge your responsibility to do the right thing.   


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