Uncovered: The 2022 U.S. Mid Term Fiasco
The dust has finally settled after the majority of midterm election results have been announced and verified. Some argue that voters went to the polls with personal concerns in mind, such as reproductive rights, inflation, and gun control. Many voters in several states were concerned about the tech industry: Illinois passed a measure supporting unionization, which could affect tech warehouses while Montana passed C-48, requiring law enforcement to obtain a warrant before searching electronic devices. This was accompanied by multiple candidates attacked content moderation on social media as part of their campaign.
Given these developments, as well as a new Republican-controlled House of Representatives, scholars from the Center for Technology Innovation (CTI) weighed in on what the midterm election results mean for tech policy in the new Congress.
Midterm elections are frequently used as a referendum on the president. According to some polls conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 40% of the country approves of Biden’s job performance. According to the same poll, 69% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, while only 18% believe it is on the right track.
Trump, like Biden, is not on the ballot. However, the former president has backed a group of like-minded candidates in an attempt to maintain his position as the de facto leader of his party ahead of a possible presidential run in 2024.
Democrats have been boosted by the fallout from the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade’s constitutional abortion protections, which resulted in a surge of Democratic protest votes in a Kansas referendum and a rise in female voter registration nationwide. However, polls show that the economy is still a much bigger concern for voters, implying that outrage over the abortion decision will not be enough to save Democrats.
Democrats also hope that Trump’s legal problems stemming from his alleged misuse of classified documents, as well as investigations into his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election result, will make swing voters less likely to support Republican candidates.
As Election Day approached, some Democrats accused their Republican opponents of being election deniers and supporters of the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack.
Anxiety about potential chaos at the polls grew in the run-up to Election Day. Election officials issued a warning to poll watchers who were steeped in conspiracy theories and falsely claimed that then-President Donald Trump did not lose the 2020 election. Democrats and voting rights advocates were concerned about the impact of new election laws in some Republican-controlled states, which President Joe Biden described as “Jim Crow 2.0.” Law enforcement agencies were on the lookout for potential threats at the polls.
According to sources, organizations are observed long lines at polling locations ranging from South Carolina to Texas. Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, had particular issues. Shortages of paper ballots and at least one polling location opening late caused long lines, prompting the state’s Republican authorities to investigate the predominantly Democratic county.
The investigation is partly a reflection of how certain voting blunders on Election Day are increasingly falling on Republican voters, who have been discouraged by Trump and his allies from using mailed ballots or early in-person voting. However, this is not the same issue that Texas faced during its March primary.
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