As exhausting as each moment of the coming-at-you-live election coverage may have seemed, the potential results of Delaware’s upcoming special election should inspire and empower those left unsure and aching for a way to make their voice heard amongst crowds of protesters and supporters alike. The push to encourage voter participation from eligible constituents in both local and federal elections seemed to reach a peak during this past election cycle. Delaware’s upcoming District 10 special election on Saturday, occurring as a result of Democrat Bethany Hall-Long’s recent rise to the position of lieutenant governor, will determine which way the Delaware State Senate’s power leans. Although Delaware is not particularly notable for its politically-charged voter population, this election has, and should continue to, inspire activism and involvement from university students.
The district in contention, which is visibly gerrymandered, includes part of southern Newark, and thus a certain sector of the Newark (and potentially UD students) population. Although only a small portion of students are likely eligible to vote in this district, we encourage students unable to voice their stance via ballot to get involved in any way that they are able to.
As of Hall-Long’s resignation, there is an even split amongst state senators in terms of party affiliation. Currently, 10 seats are held by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. Delaware has cemented its status as a blue state for the past 44 years, meaning that a color swap could allow for unforeseen or otherwise thwarted policies to slide their way through the newfound majority. Consequently, the makeup of the senate may have tangible consequences for the university and each of its students.
Groups that champion women’s rights on campus, including Generation Action, are especially concerned with one aspect of the Delaware state constitution regarding reproductive rights. Delaware’s state constitution has deemed abortion illegal, and in light of recent concerns over the Supreme Court’s makeup, the overturning of Roe v. Wade could result in the outlawing of abortion in the state. Additionally, both the College Republicans and College Democrats are working to secure the vote of their preferred candidate.
Because the population of District 10 seems to split 50/50, money is being poured into the campaign in amounts unusually disproportionate to previous Delaware senate campaigns. According to The News Journal, more than $550,000 has been spent on campaign materials, as opposed to to the typical $50,000-$100,000. Such a drastic increase mirrors the importance for some in maintaining a Democratic majority in the midst of this shifting political climate.
For some, it’s easy to dismiss the tangible impact of voting in light of November’s election results. Despite claims of fraud, increased contention amongst party lines and a concerning discrepancy between popular and electoral vote counts, remaining politically active, remains crucial. There are ways to get involved other than voting. Canvassing and raising awareness for the election, as well as its the far-reaching consequences, can help — including something as commonplace as sharing an article on social media. Remaining disillusioned by American politics and disappointed in the current state of American democracy is the easiest way to dismiss the importance of this election — but the status of the university and the value of public education as a whole is a topic in which contention should concern every student, regardless of party affiliation.
Editorials are developed by The Review staff, led by Editorial Editor Alex Eichenstein.