It’s election day today in the United States. Due to the current political climate, the 2022 midterm elections are being called the most consequential election in the United States in decades.
Voters will take to the polls to choose their congressional representatives on state and federal levels. At this point, the results could go in any direction. Even the most seasoned pundits cannot offer an idea of what the outcome might be.
The most pressing issues on voters’ minds during this election are soaring inflation, abortion laws, and voting rights. One might even say that democracy itself is on the ballot. Eyes are fixed on the hotly contested states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
North Carolina’s state government broke a veto-proof supermajority in the last election cycle. It’s not just residents of NC who are waiting to see if this balance of power endures after today. The Tarheel state is at the heart of a Supreme Court case that could upend the choice of voters by giving state legislators the power to determine election results.
One thing that is certain in today’s elections is the record number of female voters. There is also a record number of women running for governor and state legislature seats. Reproductive rights have proven to be a driving force for midterm campaigns after June’s seismic Dobbs decision.
This election is also marked by record spending. The nonpartisan group OpenSecrets estimates that $9.3 billion was spent on today’s federal races. That is a 32% increase from 2018 and almost twice the 2014 price tag.
However, it is unlikely that complete results will be in by the end of the calendar day. In-person votes are counted first, followed by main-in and absentee ballots. Polls on the West Coast will not close until 10 PM and 11 PM Eastern Time.
The first polls to close will be in the states of Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Voting wraps up at 7 PM. Georgia is one of the four states that could determine control of the US Senate, along with Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona.