By Terry Tang
PHHS was recognized on Nov. 5 along with 12 other San Jose high schools for its voter registration efforts by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. According to KPIX speaker Len Ramirez, together, the schools registered at least 1000 new voters.
“The problem that we are trying to solve is really getting young people to cast their ballot. They are marching and protesting, but not voting,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez on KPIX news.
Government teacher Lynne Murray spearheaded the voting registration drive on campus, encouraging students, even those too young to vote, to become politically aware and active through mock elections and voting pre-registration. Students as young as 16 were allowed to pre-register to vote, in the hopes that they will vote in future elections, particularly the upcoming 2020 election.
“Voting is one of the responsibilities of being a citizen,” said government teacher Lynne Murray.
These high school voter registration drives were a part of a nationwide effort to increase voter participation in the midterm elections, resulting in a record voter turnout. According to the United States Election Project, nearly 48% of eligible voters cast ballots in these midterms, compared to almost 39% in the 2014 election, making it the first midterm in history to exceed over 100 million votes. The Atlantic stated that more than 3.3 million voters ages 18 to 29 voted via early ballot, a 188% increase from 2014.
According to Vox, Democrats took control of Congress by 28 Republican-held seats for a net gain of 26 seats. In the Senate before the Midterm Election, there were 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats which meant that Democrats only needed to flip two seats to gain majority in Senate. So far, the Senate elections show that 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats with two undecided.
The Midterm Elections were very close, especially in majority red states where Democrats were trying to flip their election. The New York Times showed that within the nine red states, five Democrats won their Senate elections in majority Republican people states. Most of the Red State Democrat Senate elections were very close, most of them in the margin of 4 percent or lower. For example, Jon Tester is an incumbent that was running for reelection at the Senate. He won by 3.1 percent according to the New York Times. He was an open-minded Democrat and was willing to work with President Trump. On the other hand, Republicans won the Senate election by less than 1% in Florida according to the New York Times. Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott beat Democrat Bill Nelson by a mere 0.2 percent.
Democrats disagree on whether Nancy Pelosi should be re-elected as Speaker of the House again. CBS News claims that about eight Democrats believe that Nancy Pelosi should be replaced despite her being one of the top level Democrats and all the accomplishments like making minimum wage higher while being Speaker of the House. President Trump also believes that Nancy Pelosi should be Speaker of the House again and is willing to get Republicans to vote for her. He says that she is a fighter and deserves the office. Pelosi disagrees saying that she does not deserve the office, but one should get it by doing hard work.
“In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats,” tweeted President Trump.
Since the Democrats control House of Representatives and the Republicans have the Senate, the government is divided. Democrats and Republicans have different ideas on how to run the government so there will most likely be conflict which is called gridlock. Gridlock prevents the government from working correctly and often no work is done. In order for the government to function again, Democrats and Republicans would have to set aside their different beliefs to satisfy America’s citizens’ needs and pass productive legislature.