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Election 2020: What we know so far

To get through this election, patience is key. Over 100 million people voted early, and a majority of those votes are mail-in ballots. However, because rules vary by state for when ballots can be counted, we will have to wait possibly several days before knowing certain results, including who will be our next president. 

It’s not worth being glued to a screen

This sort of waiting in California is normal. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Golden State has expanded voter access and the number of ballots cast has increased. With 22 million registered voters, more than any other state, more time is needed to tally the votes. For nearly ten years, it has become standard to wait up to a month for final results.

Though results can’t be shared until polls close, California starts counting votes 29 days before Election Day. Still, the state’s 55 electoral votes are typically expected to go toward the democratic presidential candidate. Despite the state’s power in size, focus for the presidential race turns to swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, who can’t process ballots until Election Day. As of this afternoon (EST), CNN reported Pennsylvania had counted almost half of their mail-in ballots. This year, the state is dealing with about 10 times as many mail-in ballots compared to past elections. 

Incoming results

As of 2:03 p.m. PST, The Associated Press reports Joe Biden has 248 electoral votes, while Donald Trump has 214. Though 270 electoral votes are needed to win, Trump declared he won the election in a speech around 2:30 a.m. EST. His campaign filed lawsuits today in Pennsylvania and Michigan to temporarily halt counting, according to the Associated Press.

Democrats are projected to retain control of the House, but it’s too soon to call the Senate. In the meantime, we’ve rounded up some of the most astounding wins across the nation (so far!).  

California (Source: The Associated Press)

  • Prop 16 failed: Would have repealed affirmative action ban
  • Prop. 17 approved: Restores voting rights of former felons
  • Prop. 20 failed: Would have toughened sentencing in criminal cases
  • Prop. 21 failed: Would have expanded rent control across the state
  • Prop. 22 approved: App-based companies do not have to offer more benefits to its independent contractors
  • Prop 22 approved: New restrictions for online data collection 
  • Prop. 25 failed: Would have abolished cash bail (Though this had support from democratic leaders, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles did not support the bill because cash bail would have been replaced by risk assessment algorithms and “subject defendants to racial profiling”)
  • As of Wednesday morning, George Gascón is steadily ahead of incumbent Jackie Lacey in the race to be Los Angeles County’s district attorney.  Removal of Lacey from office has been a focal point of Los Angeles’ Black Lives Matter protests. 

The Squad

The four congresswomen deemed “The Squad” have all been reelected: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan)

LGBTQ Representation (Source: Them)

  • Colorado’s first openly bisexual state legislator: David Ortiz
  • Hawaii’s only openly LGBTQ+ state legislator: Adrian Tam
  • U.S.’s first openly non-binary state legislator: Mauree Turner, of Oklahoma City
  • First trans person of color and trans Native American elected to state legislature: Stephanie Byers, of Kansas 
  • Georgia’s first openly LGBTQ+ state senator: Kim Jackson
  • First LGBTQ+ person of color elected to New York State legislature: Jabari Brisport
  • The Bronx’s first queer Afro-Latinx elect to Congress: Ritchie Torres 
  • Queer representation in Florida: Michele Rayner and Shevrin Jones
  • U.S.’s first openly trans state senator: Sarah McBride, of Delaware
  • First trans Vermont state legislator: Taylor Small
  • Nevada approves state protections for gay marriage 

Drugs (Source: The Guardian)

  • Oregon: First state to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs, approve therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms 
  • Recreational cannabis use legalized: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota
  • Mississippi passed measure for medical cannabis
  • D.C. approves decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms 
Haley Bosselmanhttps://haleybosselman.wordpress.com/
Haley Bosselman is the former editor-in-chief of Culturas. She holds degrees in journalism from Arizona State University and the University of Southern California. Based in Los Angeles, she writes about arts, entertainment and culture.
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