Though it can be easy to feel as if voting has no impact, it remains an essential part of the function of the government and for movements that advocate for racial justice, reproductive rights and anti-gun violence. These midterm results demonstrate that there are officials who strive to improve the lives of people in the U.S.
The LGBTQ+ Victory Institute, which is committed to increasing the amount of openly LGBTQ+ officials in all levels of government, reports that this election witnessed a “rainbow wave” with a record-breaking number of LGBTQ+ candidates. They reported that “At least 340 out LGBTQ candidates running in the 2022 midterms have won their elections as of  a.m [on election night]., the most in U.S. history and surpassing the previous record of 336 set in 2020.”
Maura Healey became one of the first openly lesbian governors and the first elected female governor in Massachusetts. Along with Healey, Tina Kotek became one of the first openly lesbian governors in the country and the second female governor of Oregon according to CBS News. James Roesener became the country’s first openly transgender man elected as a state representative in New Hampshire according to Them.
These wins hold such great power among members of the LGBTQ+ community in feeling represented in the government. Many politicians and bills proposed specifically attack and aim to strip the rights of the community and it’s important for LGBTQ+ individuals living in this country to feel protected by their elected officials. There must be more representation as more people in this country begin to identify themselves within the LGBTQ+ community, according to Gallup.
In this election, the U.S. saw its first member of Generation Z elected and the first Afro-Cuban to serve in Congress, Maxwell Alexandro Frost. Frost won a representative seat in the state of Florida at 25 years old. Frost was an organizer for the March For Our Lives organization and runs on a platform that prioritizes ending gun violence, the climate crisis and abortion rights according to CNBC.
These issues are among the most important for people in Generation Z and it’s amazing to have a candidate that recognizes these values and commits to fighting for them. By electing younger officials, this country will be able to work toward more issues that are a high priority for people in Generation Z.
This election also saw a diversified range of elected officials. As reported by Teen Vogue, Wes Moore became the third Black governor in the country and the first of Maryland. Delia Ramirez became the first Latina representative of Illinois.
Their wins emphasize how momentous this is for people of color in official positions. Their incredible victories highlight how critical it is to see diverse groups represented in government and ensure voters feel that their concerns are being met.
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in July 2022, abortion rights became an issue once again on the ballot in this election. In California, Vermont and Michigan, abortion was elected to be amended into their state constitutions according to Associated Press. In Kentucky, they voted to reject an anti-abortion ballot measure that aimed to deny state constitutional protections for abortions.
The wins in support of abortion rights secure people’s rights within their states and indicate that many people are in support of the fight for reproductive justice. It also highlights how imperative it is to have quality and accessible reproductive care.
As a young Latina woman, this election truly inspired me. It gives me hope that we are intending to create a better environment for people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community and many more groups. Issues like the climate crisis, abortion rights and gun violence are some of the most pressing issues to myself and Generation Z and it is necessary to have leaders that reflect these values.
The midterm results assert the idea that we as a country are working toward a better future. Voting is a fundamental element in our government structure. We must keep voting and encouraging others to partake in democracy.