What America Really Voted On in 2018
by Shari Dovale
Governor Races across the country had the Democrats picking up a few states, but not quite reaching the equal number of Republican states. Some of the most watched governor races include:
- Idaho, with Democrat Paulette Jordan not able to gather the votes against Brad Little to become the first Native American female governor.
- Georgia, with Stacey Abrams refusing to concede to Republican Brian Kemp. As of Wednesday morning Kemp has nearly 51% of Georgia’s 3.8 million reported votes.
- Nevada, Democrat Steve Sisolak turned the state’s top spot blue over Republican Adam Laxalt after Republican Brian Sandoval was term-limited out of office.
- Florida, Tallahassee mayor Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the race to Ron DeSantis when the final vote totals had the Republican ahead by more than 1 percent, margins too large for a recount.
The Republicans retained the Senate and gained 2 more seats, solidifying their control. The House of Representatives changed enough seats from red to blue to give control to the Democrats.
Initiatives on the state ballots were watched closely, as they indicated religious and individual freedoms being decided, as well as Constitutional issues put to the public. These included:
Oregon Measure 105, Immigration Enforcement. Republican lawmakers attempted to repeal Oregon’s sanctuary state law. This measure was voted down with a large 62% of the vote.
New Hampshire Question 2, Right to Live Free from Governmental Intrusion. Question 2 added language to the NH Constitution stating that “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent.” This passed by a staggering 80% of the vote.
Alabama Amendment 1, Ten Commandments. An overwhelming 71% of the public approved amending the state constitution to authorize the display of the Ten Commandments on public property, including public schools.
Abortion initiatives were on the ballots in several states:
- Alabama Amendment 2, State Abortion Policy. Alabama voters also approved this amendment to make it state policy to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life” and to state that no provisions of the constitution provide a right to an abortion or require funding of abortions. Approved with a clear 59%
- West Virginia, Amendment 1, No Right to Abortion. West Virginia voters also agree to to add language to the WV Constitution stating that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
- Oregon Measure 106, Ban Public Funds for Abortions. This citizen-initiated measure was defeated with 64% of the voting public against.
Several states took up the question of marijuana. Michigan legalized the recreational use, while Missouri chose to allow the medical use as well as tax it and spend the tax revenue on healthcare services for veterans. North Dakota voters chose not to decriminalize marijuana.
The strongest gun control laws in the country have been passed in the Pacific Northwest:
Washington I-1639, Gun Control. This measure will implement restrictions on the purchase and ownership of firearms, including background checks, and storage requirements, as well as increasing the minimum age to buy semiautomatic assault rifles to 21. Several lawsuits have been filed over this measure prior to it reaching the ballot, with more expected. This passed with 60% of the vote.
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