If you haven’t heard that question in the past week, you probably live under a rock. With any remote connection to social media, chances are you have been “cyber bullied” (for lack of a better term) into voting. Everyone, I mean everyone, from Beyoncé to Willie Nelson to Google were vocal in encouraging their followers to 1. register to vote and 2. actually go vote in this year’s midterm election. Saying it is our civic responsibility and that “every vote counts;” photos, videos, stories, and articles flooded news feeds for weeks leading up to the big day.
Celebrities and brands have influence. If Sarah Hyland is waiting in long lines, filling out ballots and posting “I voted” pictures, you best believe I am too. Jokes aside, that is not the only reason to vote, BUT celebrities do have a huge platform where they have the freedom to voice their opinions and they took advantage of it on Tuesday.
Did this trendy encouragement work? According to TIME Magazine, 2018 was a historic year for midterm voter turnout, with many states recording levels of voter participation not seen for a non-presidential election in decades. Approximately 114 million votes were cast in U.S. House races in 2018, compared to 83 million in 2014, according to estimates by the New York Times. For a midterm election, this was a big deal and Americans should be proud that they have the opportunity to express their views. These celebrities and brands that spoke out about the importance of voting had an impact on raising awareness and creating a new energy surrounding the voting process, but really it is up to each and every citizen individually to want to have their voice heard. If you voted, congratulations, you are changing history!
So, two days later, what is the consensus? DC is divided. Democrats seized the House majority, while Republicans kept the Senate. There was no sweeping win for either party, but the energy surrounding this election gives us a glimpse into what the next presidential election will look like.