Midterm elections took place on Nov. 6 all across the United States. A highly anticipated election given the current division in the country, the local and national results have garnered varied reactions around campus.
Federally, the election resulted in Republicans maintaining majority in the Senate and Democrats gaining majority in the House of Representatives, resulting in a Congress split along partisan lines.
At the state level, incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo won the race for governor, although Livingston County voted almost two-to-one for his opponent, Republican Marc Molinaro, according to the unofficial results from the Board of Elections.
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was re-elected to her Senate seat, with Livingston County once again in support of the Republican candidate, Chele Chiavacci.
Geneseo also re-elected State Senator Patrick Gallivan in an uncontested race. For the contested race for the 133rd district of the State Assembly, Livingston County elected Republican Marjorie Byrnes to replace Republican Joseph Errigo, who was indicted for accepting a bribery
The most contentious race in the area was for the federal representative of the 27th district between Republican incumbent Chris Collins and Democrat Nathan McMurray. Collins was re-elected, despite facing indictment for 11 federal criminal charges, which consisted of fraud, conspiracy and lying to an FBI agent, according to The Buffalo News.
As of publication, the Collins and McMurray have a vote difference of about 1 percent—3,000 votes. Currently almost all of the votes have been counted, but there are still three districts in Erie County that have yet to formally report their results.
McMurray originally conceded the race, but he has since called for a recount due to the close vote total, according to The Livingston County News.
One thing people from both parties could agree on was the benefit of a higher voter turnout. Many felt the increased tension in the nation increased the number of national voters.
It was estimated by some polls that 40 percent of college age students were going to vote, and Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassador Patrick Buckley said it looked as though even more may have turned out.
“I think people are very frustrated with politics on all sides and are actually getting that frustration out by voting,” Buckley said.
The Vote Everywhere Taskforce tried to increase voting, such as having a “Party at the Polls” with free food for voters, may have also encouraged more students to show up, Buckley explained.
“I think a lot of people are realizing how important it is to get engaged, whereas they might have heard about it or have been interested in voting before, now they feel like they really have the duty to,” Buckley said.
Collins’s win caused frustration among many observers, such as history adolescent education major junior Laura Glynn, as they felt his indictments should have been enough to deter voters from electing him.
“I just can’t believe people would vote for someone like that … why would you want a criminal as your representative,” Glynn said.
Specifically, some students felt the re-election of Cuomo represented Upstate New York having less of a voice than downstate, as Cuomo won mostly major urban centers, such as New York City.
Some students, like psychology major senior Anaya Packirisamy felt the elections showed that, especially in New York, the system for voting is often unorganized and bias.
“I know a lot of people’s votes were trying to be oppressed through tactics that seem legal,” Packirisamy said. “I don’t feel like everybody got an equal chance to vote because I feel like everyone should have had the same privilege that white affluent areas had.”
Packirisamy went on to explain that affluent areas with less minority demographics appeared to have more voting booths and less issues with voting booths breaking and such.
“The infrastructure of the voting machines is extremely terrible and they haven’t fixed it in years, [as] the same thing happened in the 2016 elections,” Packirisamy said.
Students also noted that newcomer candidates who used grass roots campaigns seemed to energize younger voters and make them want to vote.
“In my district, NY-2, there was an incumbent candidate who was running for his 14th term and then a new comer ran a very good grass roots organized campaign,” Glynn said.
“I thought that was more effective in getting younger people involved.”