By Audrey Sawyer and Nicole Mayer
WASHINGTON, D.C.- With millions of Americans flocking to the polls to cast their final ballots for the 2022 midterm election Tuesday, many campaign strategists and analysts at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) depict LGBTQ+ voters will make up more of the American electorate this year that ever before, despite the actions of extremist candidates.
Additionally, there will be record-breaking numbers of LGBTQ+ candidates being elected to office, along with seeing LGBTQ+ people on the ballot in every state across the country for the first time in history—and because of that, there will be increasing levels of LGBTQ+ representation in elected office, more than ever before according to the HRC.
On the eve of midterm elections, HRC Interim President Joni Madison charged, “This election cycle we saw extremists, conspiracy theorists, and far-right radicals…(who) spun vile and outlandish narratives in an attempt to defame and slander LGBTQ+ people…”
Additionally, she acknowledged the progress in election history for the LGBTQ+ community, noting, “Despite efforts by extremists to keep millions of people from voting, they can’t stop us from showing up, and making our voices heard at the ballot box.”
Madison lauded a LGBTQ+ candidate in every state in the country, the first lesbian women being elected as governor, along with record-breaking numbers of transgender and gender non-conforming people elected to public office.
Madison made it clear that the hatred from extremists is only because they know it is their last grasp.
Madison notes that she and other allies and partners across the nation will continue to fight in support of pro-democracy, pro-equality, and a pro-choice future. This election year, the HRC has made countless endorsements to people of color and many open LGBTQ+ candidates than ever before.
Helping make important strides, Madison added, towards equality in representation in government, they have achieved many milestones such as electing the country’s first openly gay immigrant to U.S. Congress—California’s Robert Garcia.
Another example includes the first openly lesbian representative from Vermont to U.S. Congress, Becca Balint.
Trends indicate the demographic of those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community is swiftly becoming one of the fastest growing voting blocs in the country. By 2030, said HRC, it’s expected of around one-in-seven voters identifying themselves as LGBTQ+, becoming one-in-five by 2040.
In addition to this rapidly expanding size of the electorate, numbers around 62 million identify themselves as “Equality Voters’ ‘ nationwide who cite LGBTQ+ equality as a crucial issue. Support for LGBTQ+ friendly policies are at an all-time high, with eight in ten Americans advocating for laws which protect those who identify as LGBTQ+ from all sorts of discrimination, said HRC.
Support has become less of a partisan issue with more than 70 percent of Americans supporting marriage equality, with a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
With around eight percent of the population currently identifying as LGBTQ+ (around 20 million), and one-in-five of Gen Z adults (outnumbering any prior generation), the LGBTQ+ community is finding themselves with rapidly accelerating influence at the ballot box, according to HRC.