The 2022 midterm elections will take place on Tuesday, November 8, and if you’re already feeling some political fatigue, I don’t blame you. The pressure to vote can feel like a lot, particularly if you live in an area where your vote might not go as far—at least, not as far as in a battleground state like Arizona or Georgia. But in truth it couldn’t be a more important time to cast your ballot, no matter where you’re from. Below, find a list of reasons that your vote really does matter in 2022.
Because abortion rights are under attack
If there’s anything we should have learned from the fall of Roe v. Wade earlier this year, it’s that our reproductive freedoms aren’t something we can afford to take for granted—and a GOP-controlled Senate would have a much easier time passing Senator Lindsey Graham’s proposed national abortion ban.
Because the safety and freedom of the LGBTQ+ community is becoming increasingly imperiled
According to the ACLU, more than 100 bills attacking trans people have been introduced in the US over the last two years, and states like Florida and Texas are actively banning and criminalizing gender-affirming care. With figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene hoping to see the Supreme Court overturn same-sex marriage, candidates supporting LGBTQ+ rights deserve your attention now more than ever.
Because we’re living through a climate emergency
Twenty-four states are at risk of taking a large step backward on progressive climate policy in the midterms, and while the Biden administration has set a target of cutting US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, it can’t do it without strong Democratic support in the Senate.
Because we have the power to create a more humane immigration policy
Contrary to the all-too-common narrative that red states are uniformly opposed to immigration reform, recent polls show that a majority of likely voters in key states like Pennsylvania and Nevada support offering legal status to undocumented immigrants in the US under certain circumstances. So long as the votes are there, this could mean a major shift in future immigration policy.
Because voter disenfranchisement is still a real problem in the US.
Whenever I find myself feeling jaded about the practicality of voting—ugh, I have to drive somewhere?—I remind myself that women have only had the right to vote for 102 years. (To put things in perspective, Harvard has existed for 386.) For that matter, strict voter ID laws and other forms of voter disenfranchisement have a particular impact on communities of color and Black voters in particular. So voting for candidates who pledge to defend voting rights is the first critical step in creating a democracy where every vote is counted.