Ballots in the 2022 midterm elections are still being tallied. But political analysts have already determined key takeaways from the groundbreaking vote. For American women across the United States, this election was consequential, and they showed up and voted like never before.
“Women voters matter,” says Amanda Brown Lierman, Executive Director of Supermajority. “Women are the majority of people in this country. We are a driving force of the economy, we are the backbones of our families and our democracy, and we are demanding a voice in the political process. We will no longer accept policy decisions made about us, without us.”
Women Are Voting, a coalition comprised of 51 organizations led by Supermajority, contacted more than 33 million women voters ahead of the election. This included many first-time and infrequent voters, speaking to them about the issues that are of crucial importance and providing the information they needed to help them take those concerns to the ballot box. Text reminders, handwritten letters, and doorknocking were a part of a strategy that helped mobilize a massive turnout of women across the country.
“In 2022, Supermajority set out to accomplish one thing—to mobilize a multiracial, multigenerational coalition of women voters—and we did,” says Lierman. “As an organization, Supermajority contacted more than 3.6 million voters in our five key states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.” Preliminary exit polling data shows that women contributed to big wins in key battleground states, including Michigan where Gretchen Whitmer held onto the governor’s seat and Democrats held on to their majority in the state senate, and Pennsylvania where John Fetterman won his U.S. Senate race.
Lierman points to election night results as proof that their efforts paid off, but even before decisions were made at the ballot box, voter registration numbers for women indicated a heightened level of interest in the political process. In September, TargetSmart, an industry leader in political data, analyzed voter registration data in 45 states from before the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and since the Dobbs v. Jackson decision. In all but four states, women had increased their share of new registrants, compared to before Dobbs. The states with the biggest increases were Kansas, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Ohio.
Lierman says that On Tuesday women made a statement on abortion, letting the country know that the vote to protect abortion access earlier this year in Kansas was not a fluke. “Voters enshrined the right to abortion in the constitution in Michigan, California, and Vermont, and defeated a constitutional amendment to restrict abortion in Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky,” Lierman adds.
For Black women, in particular, this election was an opportunity to steer political power toward an agenda that prioritized our future’s livelihoods and fundamental freedoms. “From advancing criminal justice reform to protecting voting rights, to helping families access more affordable childcare, to ensuring our freedom to control our own bodies, we have an opportunity to create sustainable change and equity for Black women,” read a statement for the Black Women’s Leadership Collective (BWLC) shared with EBONY ahead of the election. The leadership and organizing hub for Black women's organizations, advocates, and supporters represents over 19 million Black women across America.
In 2020, Black women turned out in record numbers and helped change the direction of our country. Collectively we were responsible for electing the first Black woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, which paved the way for the appointment of Justice Katanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The 2020 vote has also been responsible for key legislative victories, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Though Black women were unable to turn out victories for Stacey Abrams in Georgia or U.S. Senate candidates Val Demmings (D-FL) and Cheri Beasley (D-NC), our votes were critical in electing Maryland’s first Black governor, the first Black woman in Congress from the state of Pennsylvania, as well as the first Gen Z representative. BWLC notes that Black women’s collective power has always moved our country forward. These key decisions demonstrate just how powerful the collective women’s voting bloc is when we come together.