Balance of power shifts in House

By Eric Gibble
November 3, 2010

Voters displayed their discontent with the Democratic majority and changed the balance of power on Tuesday, Nov. 2. After months of endless campaigning, political controversy and vicious debates, the results for the 2010 general election are in.

Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans while still holding on to the Senate. As of 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, the Republicans successfully gained 235 seats in the House of Representatives to win the majority as well as gained 5 seats in the Senate which is still controlled by the Democrats.

The net change in the House shows the Republicans up 58 seats and up six seats in the Senate.

Republicans also had a strong showing in the Gubernatorial races across the nation gaining 27 Governor-elect positions as of 2 a.m. Wednesday.  At that same time, the Democrats had won 15 seats.

The extremely close races and nerve-wrecking numbers in Pennsylvania had voters watching intensely for results.  In Pennsylvania, Republican Tom Corbett became the Governor-elect while Republican Pat Toomey took control of the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Arlen Specter.

Students on Cabrini’s campus took part in this election and expressed the importance of it and also their frustrations with the voting system.

“I think it’s more important to be informed before you vote and not just vote because you can, but to vote and be educated. I did my homework before I voted,” Katie Parks, junior English and Spanish major said.

Many students were not able to vote because they did not receive their absentee ballots on time despite applying for them weeks in advance.

“I requested an absentee ballet two weeks ago, and I received it yesterday, three days after it was due. I checked the mail everyday, and nothing. There needs to be an easier way for college students to vote, it’s unfair to us. It’s a mess,” Sarah Rocco, junior chemistry major, said.

Other students simply decided not to vote.

“I didn’t have time, too busy with school work, and having to go to field,” Ashley Edel, junior elementary and special education major, said.

Out-of-state students also felt disconnected with the political process and felt that they were not informed enough to make an educated decisions.

“I live in Virginia and because I live in Pennsylvania nine months out of the year, I feel as though I did not know enough about what’s going on at home in order to really vote and know what it means,” Melissa Frazier, junior Spanish and political science major, said.

In Philadelphia, the political watchdog organization, the Committee of Seventy, dispatched over 500 volunteers throughout the city to monitor the elections. Leah Pillsbury, the group’s director of civic programs, noted that despite a handful of media reports the elections ran smoothly.

“There are catchy stories that make headlines like the sledgehammer event, but this year we found the elections to go smoothly with minimal problems through the city. However, the process makes you realize just how fragile the system is and how it takes the support of the people to work,” Pillsbury said. “Seventy worked to resolve the issues that came up during this election but will also work throughout the year to solve the larger administrative task in order to make the process even smoother in coming years.”

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Eric Gibble

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