Voting Tuesday! November 26, 2019.

November 26, 2019

It’s Voting Tuesday!

Today we’re talking about state legislative races. Why are legislatures important? Well, for one thing, the vast majority of policy regulating reproductive health care is enacted in state legislatures.

Pro-choice legislatures vote to expand access to abortion care and family planning services, while anti-choice legislatures around the country are regulating abortion rights out of existence. Did you also know that, in most states, the state legislature will use the results of the 2020 census to redraw their state’s congressional districts? This process is ripe for gerrymandering, creating districts that are sure to elect candidates of one party or another.

The 2020 election will decide who controls the redistricting process in each state, which is why one Harvard professor calls 2020 state legislative races “just as important as the presidency.” “In a lot of ways,” says Profession Theda Skocpol, “They’re the whole ballgame.” Legislative races are also a GREAT way to get involved in campaign work – Your volunteer hours can make a huge difference in swinging your local legislative race.

Ballotpedia is a great way to learn more about the legislative races in your state.

It’s Voting Tuesday!

When It Comes to Congress, You’re Not Just Voting for One Person, you’re deciding who’s in charge!

The past few years have been a lesson in the power of holding the majority in Congress. In both the US House and the Senate, the party with the majority dictates what gets done and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t get done.

In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell single-handedly prevented the appointment of Judge Merrick Garland, a well-liked moderate among Republications and Democrats, including Orrin Hatch (R,UT).

Before President Obama nominated Judge Garland and only hours after the announcement of Justice Scalia's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared any appointment by the "sitting president" to be null and void. He argued that the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the next president — to be elected later that year. Here we are in Trump's last term with an election later next year.  

Mitch McConnell's power and privilege impact all of our lives in part because he refuses to allow the Senate to vote on legislation that his colleagues, constituents, conservative party, and POTUS oppose. By denying a Senate vote, they also avoid a roll call that publicly records each senator's vote. Rather than to look for bipartisan solutions, they just shut the door on discussion and silence the minority. 

Your vote for Representatives and Senators directly affects which party is in the majority and who makes those decisions as Speaker and Majority leader. It’s about more than the individual candidate – it’s about which caucus they will lift into power in 2020.  

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