Every year or so we seem to be getting these phone calls or ads on our phones reminding us that an election is coming up. Most people simply tune it out or skip that ad and go on about their business. I have been guilty about that myself in the past.

Our lives are busy, and we do not have the time to devote to keeping up. Maybe after a long day at the office or on the job site we just want to pop on a movie and relax. Maybe the kids need a ride to practice or have a game coming up.

 This is common in people’s everyday lives, yet there is a real danger in this disengagement. Though this cannot be blamed on the American people for having such busy lives, the things that they miss out on knowing come back to bite hard often.

This brings us to elections tomorrow in Virginia and in New Jersey, as well as across the country for various levels of federal, state and local governments. Many of these will be seemingly inconsequential to us here in Indiana, but I regret to inform that they are anything but inconsequential.

So why should we Hoosiers have our eyes set on the Old Dominion, the Garden State, and other various races like the Pennsylvania Supreme Court seat?

Those elections have consequences that can have nationwide implications or show trends in electorates. If you look into how a case can make its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, it is easy to see how a seat in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court might matter for the nation.

The implications of tomorrow’s vote in Virginia and New Jersey for Governor could give us a glimpse at 2022 midterms by looking at the overall trends in the electorate.

New Jersey could point to the strength of the Democratic Party rolling into 2022. They have not had a Democrat win re-election since 1977. That’s quite shocking given that New Jersey has voted Democrat at the top of the ticket since 1992.

Incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Murphy is looking to break that streak against Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli. Gov. Murphy is up in the polls, so this could be less of a nail-bitter tomorrow afternoon. The real battle will be a couple of states over.

Virginia is another one to keep an eye on. Virginia has voted Democratic at the top of the ticket every year since 2008. They have held the governorship since 2013, with Terry McAuliffe squeaking by his opponent then to win his first term.

Due to Virginia’s state constitution, governors cannot run for consecutive turns. In 2017, Ralph Northam won, holding the seat for the Democrats.

McAuliffe, running for a second term, has in my opinion ran an absolute garbage campaign. The Democrats are getting into the bad habit of nationalizing races.

Terry has invoked former President Trump many times in this campaign, which though it is fair game to do every now and then, should not become a center of the platform.

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee, has ran a fairly solid campaign, aside from some pretty sizable gaffes here and there. He is campaigning like he knows he was behind from the start.

It has not been until recent weeks that the McAuliffe campaign has started really taking this race seriously. Will Virginia’s electorate be too much for Youngkin to overcome or will McAuliffe expose a weakness in the Democrat’s armor?

One thing that has come out of the forefront of the Virginia campaign is education, which is an issue that is typically owned and dominated by Democrats.

We are beginning to see Republicans try out a new strategy, and polling is showing that this new take on education by conservatives is not unpopular. If it works here, could we see it become a more major party stance?

To those feeling election or political fatigue, I can relate. The fact is that we cannot simply turn our eyes away. The effects on people’s lives are too real. Even when these elections are in states that are not our own, these elections matter.

Not everyone needs to open their wallets to donate or skip out on a ballgame to phone bank for a candidate. Just simply pay more attention to events that are not a midterm or presidential election year. Real life-altering changes are made when no one is watching and forcing accountability.