Midterm elections tend to garner little public attention, especially compared to the horse race that is the presidential election. Despite this apparent lack of public interest, the midterms have a large impact on the shape of the United States. With the primaries coming up on May 8, 2018, any student who turns 18 before Nov. 7 can take the opportunity to express their opinions and have their voice heard.

One reason these voting seasons are so important is that, during midterm elections, the entire House of Representatives, everyone from the newest representative to Speaker Paul Ryan, is up for re-election. In addition, one third of the senate joins them in re-election.

In addition, this midterm season is a very close and politically charged, especially with the recently announced plans for retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan. Should the GOP’s fears be recognized, this could lead to a flip in the house and the senate; a term that means the Democrats would be taking charge in Congress.

Government and Politics teacher Kelly Scott said that, while possible, Democrats have a tough road ahead to flip Congress.

“The problem is whether or not the Democrats are going to have the ability to overtake the rather large advantage that the Republicans have in the House, and then in the Senate because this year 20-some of the 34 senators who are up for re-election are Democrats,” Scott explained. “This means that they’d have to hold on to all of those seats and also gain a couple of the Republican seats that are up for reelection.”

The bottom line: If voters want to make a change or maintain the current political standing, they must vote. Senior Harry Cohn will not be voting in the upcoming midterms because he was unable to register in time. That being said, were he able to, he would.

“Voting gives me an opportunity to have a voice within my community,” Cohn said. “If you don’t vote, you lose that voice.”