Students React to Midterm Election Results


Students volunteered on Election Day with Let’s Vote Nova to assist voters to get to the polls.

Katie Reed, News Columnist

The midterm elections have been on the minds of most, if not all, Villanovans for the past few months, and they finally came to a culmination last week as results were announced and disseminated. Both major, hotly contested races in Pennsylvania saw the election of Democratic candidates to office, with John Fetterman winning the race for a seat on the Senate and Josh Shapiro winning the race for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Senior Julia Boettigheimer, majoring in Political Science and History, shared her experience voting during the midterm elections. Though she is from Westchester, New York, Boettigheimer is registered to vote in PA, and this was her second time participating in elections here.

“I voted in PA for the 2020 Presidential Election,” Boettigheimer said. “That time, I got to the polls at 8 a.m., and the line was over an hour long. For the midterms, I went in the evening, and there was no line at any stage of the process. Overall, it was really easy and there were no complications.”

Boettigheimer was pleased with the results of the election, both in terms of voter turnout and the candidates who were elected. She also talked about the uncertainty of this year’s elections, which was discussed at length by one of her professors.

“Seeing the results was definitely a sigh of relief, to an extent,” Boettigheimer said. “In one of my classes, we were talking about the fact that today’s elections are so unpredictable, and going off past trends, it would be expected for the party in power (in this case, Democrats) to lose a significant number of House and Senate seats. However, massive voter turnout among young voters defied those predictions.”

This turnout gives Boettigheimer hope for the future, as people are starting to step up to have their voices heard and demand change.

“There’s still a lot on the line and an immense amount of work to be done, but I feel good knowing that young people are passionate about significant issues that affect us all,” Boettigheimer said. “As of now, I’m cautiously optimistic about what we’ll see over the next two years, but if the same voter turnout trends continue, I have hope that the necessary changes will be made.”

Further, Boettigheimer already has some changes in mind that she hopes to see made at the state level in the near future, as it has recently been incredibly difficult to implement changes at the federal level. 

“Two of the largest issues at the moment are keeping abortion legal and protecting voters’ rights,” Boettigheimer said. “As SCOTUS cases are repealing these guarantees on a federal level, it’s going to become a debate for the states to settle. I hope to see states enact laws that protect reproductive freedoms for all people and guarantee that the right and ability to vote are not infringed upon.”

Boettigheimer also expressed the importance of exercising one’s right to vote, especially after seeing how voting turnout from young people has been instrumental in turning the tides in many midterm elections across the United States. 

“I think that a lot of people feel like their vote doesn’t count, and if it does, it’s extremely insignificant,” Boettigheimer said. “However, as the past two major elections have shown, people have strength in numbers. Even if the candidate you vote for doesn’t win, the margins of victory don’t go unnoticed – your vote speaks, and voting is the fundamental basis of American democracy.”

Just because the elections are over does not mean that it is any less important for Villanovans to be informed about current issues in PA politics. As Boettigheimer suggested, it is important now, more than ever, for people to stay engaged and keep seeing what they can do to help change be made.