Step one: cleanse the skin?
Yesterday was Election Day. You were there. So were we.
Democrats took control of the House of Representatives while Republicans held the Senate.
Follow along with NPR’s up-to-the-minute coverage.
This was a tremendously expensive election — the most costly on record, with $5 billion poured into races across the country.
While the Democrats had hoped for a “blue wave,” some high-profile losses by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum in Florida and Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. But there are still some big changes to who holds power.
On the federal level, NPR noted the success of women across the country.
Democrat Rashida Tlaib in Michigan’s 13th District and Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, from that state’s 5th district, both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress tonight.
Twenty-nine-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress, in New York’s 14th District.
Democrat Sharice Davids won the House seat from Kansas’ 3rd District, unseating incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder, and Democrat Deb Haaland won the seat in an open race in New Mexico’s 1st District. That makes both of them the first Native American women elected to Congress.
Democrat Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, in that state’s 7th District.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the race for Georgia governor was headed to a runoff election.
Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams refused to concede to her opponent Brian Kemp. Kemp leads Abrams in the polls by 68,000 votes, but many noticed that in his role as Secretary of State he had removed many voters from Georgia’s voter rolls.
The Atlantic described the race this way.
Under Kemp, Georgia purged more than 1.5 million voters from the rolls, eliminating 10.6 percent of voters from the state’s registered electorate from 2016 to 2018 alone. The state shut down 214 polling places, the bulk of them in minority and poor neighborhoods. From 2013 to 2016 it blocked the registration of nearly 35,000 Georgians, including newly naturalized citizens. Georgia accomplished this feat of disfranchisement based on a screening process called “exact match,” meaning the state accepted new registrations only if they matched the information in state databases precisely, including hyphens in names, accents, and even typos.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 18 races in the house hadn’t been called, and neither had three races in the Senate.
And it wasn’t only candidates on the ballot. Several initiatives across the country will change the way future elections are run.
In the ballot measures that passed Tuesday, voters in at least three states took the power to determine political boundaries away from state legislatures, while a similar proposition in Utah was too close to call. Voter registration deadlines could become a thing of the past in three states that are making it easier to take part in elections.
In Florida, 1.4 millon people convicted of a felony regained the right to vote, after voters approved an amendment that would automatically restore their right to vote after they serve their sentences.
And President Trump weighed in during a combative press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
We review the upsets, the ballot initiatives and more.
- Astead Herndon National politics reporter, The New York Times; @AsteadWesley
- Alice Stewart Political Commentator, CNN; @alicetweet
- Governor Terry McAuliffe Former Governor of Virginia, Democrat; @terrymcauliffe
- David Smiley Political Reporter for the Miami Herald
- Joe Garofoli Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle; Host, 'It's All Political' Podcast; @joegarofoli
- Ron Elving Senior editor and correspondent, NPR; @nprrelving
- Tom Bonier CEO, TargetSmart; @tbonier
- Rachel Bovard Senior director of policy, Conservative Partnership Institute; former legislative director, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); former director of policy services, The Heritage Foundation; @rachelbovard
- Johnny Kauffman Reporter, WABE news in Atlanta; @JohnnyIK
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Preet Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.