Statement from URGE on the 2022 Midterm Elections

November 8, 2022

Kwentoria A. Williams

Serena Jiwani

As ballots get counted across the country, and with abortion rights hanging in the balance in several key states, a clear message has already emerged: young people – particularly young Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color – are exercising their power to radically transform our political landscape. In response, Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, has released the following statement:

“Today, folks across this nation exercised their right to vote. Some were blocked or turned away. Some had a harder time than they should have, because voter suppression remains rampant. But so many persisted, and their voices rang loud and clear at the ballot box. 

“As we await the results, one thing is clear: young people, young voters will decide the outcome of this election and the future of our country. Young people – a majority of whom are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – continue to set and break records in voter registration and turnout. All year long, young people have galvanized their peers and mobilized their communities on the issues that matter most. 

“When the Supreme Court denied the constitutional right to abortion and paved the way for half of the country to ban abortion, young people took to the streets. When state legislatures, again and again, attacked the right of trans youth to live, learn, and thrive, young people spoke out. And as the twin perils of white nationalism and attacks on our democracy have risen, young people have risen up in righteous opposition. 

“Voters in Kansas set a tone which we expect to resonate in today’s outcomes: abortion bans are deeply unpopular, and the people of this country are outraged at the denial of this basic human right. 

“Even as we celebrate reports from across the country that young people are turning out in droves, we must keep in mind people who are denied the right to fully participate in our democracy because of their immigration status or experiences with the criminal punishment system, or because gerrymandering or other dirty tricks deny or dilute their voting power. 

“Our democracy is imperfect, and our path to liberation goes beyond any one election. We vote not because it will fix everything that is wrong, but because it creates the basic and necessary conditions for a free and just society. Beyond that, we recommit ourselves to the daily and year-round work of fighting for reproductive justice.”