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OPINION: Midterm elections are close, and your vote counts

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President Barack Obama announces the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, right, as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau duringf a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 18, 2011.

As the midterm elections are rapidly approaching, Opinion Writer Maddie Kramer enforces why it is important to vote in your local election, and which races really count.

The election of Donald Trump was a shocker for both political parties. For some Democrats, the election served as a wakeup call. For others, it was a call to action. While Republicans celebrated a win, the Democrats started to plan for the anticipated “blue wave”.

The somewhat surprising election result is highly attributed to low voter turnout levels. The United States Elections Project estimates that only 54.7 percent of voting age people actually cast a ballot. This means the officials now running this country were decided by a little over half of the population able to cast a vote.

While disappointing, this news should communicate an important message — it is important to vote in the midterm election on Nov. 6.

In Ohio, there are currently two big races that are rated a toss-up, meaning that at this point, either candidate has the possibility of winning. These are the gubernatorial election and the 1st congressional district, which includes Warren and parts of Hamilton County. Cincinnati, this means you.  

While it is important for Cincinnatians to vote in the 1st congressional district, the gubernatorial race is one that affects all Ohioans. This election is an important one, with Richard Cordray running for the Democrats and current Attorney General Mike Dewine running for the Republicans.

DeWine has served as Attorney General since 2011. DeWine has a strong following from the Republican party and has been involved in Ohio politics since 1980, when he was elected to the Ohio Senate.

Cordray has been involved in Ohio politics since 1991, when he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives for the 33rd Congressional District. Cordray then served as Ohio Attorney General from 2009-2011. More recently, he last served as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He is a strong democratic candidate because of his work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a position created by former President Obama in response to the financial crisis of 2008. Both Cordray and DeWine are strong candidates for both parties, which makes it even more important to go out to the polls.

Why is the 1st congressional district important? For Democrats seeking the “blue wave”, winning the election would mean the removal of incumbent of eight years, Steve Chabot. Chabot held the office from 1994 to 2008, then again from 2010 to present. He is currently running against Aftab Pureval, the former Clerk of Courts of Hamilton County.

Pureval is a proud first generation American, coming from an Indian-Tibetan family background. He is a promising candidate for the Democrats, as he volunteered at a battered women’s center during his time in law school at University of Cincinnati. Pureval is also endorsed by former President Barack Obama.

This juxtaposes Chabot’s record as one of the most conservative voters during the last term in Congress. He claims to be “an advocate for the rights of the unborn” and runs on an incredibly conservative platform. Removing Chabot from office would be a big win for the Democrats.

Regardless of what district you vote in or who you vote for, what is important is that you get out to vote. Make sure you are registered to vote and your address is current.

Ask your roommate if they are registered to vote. Ask your friends, your family members, your significant others, the people you sit next to in class, your math tutor, everyone. And if they say yes, remind them that election day is Nov. 6, and we are voting for the next head of our state.

Remember local and state elections are just as important as presidential ones. We are still voting for people who will represent us in some pretty big statewide and nationwide decisions.

Remember to get out and vote Nov. 6, whether you are part of the “blue wave” or not!

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