(or next week)
Hopefully, we know the President-elect soon. It looks like it will be Joe Biden after all votes are counted, after all challenges heard, and all recounts performed. Either way, we just have to wait. Well, it must be said, since I reside in the State of Georgia, in the metro Atlanta area . . .We Did That! No matter the final outcome, Georgia has not been this close to blue in decades. So, you’re welcome. That’s enough about that, let’s look at what else happened in Election 2020.
Marijuana Really Won Election 2020
While everyone else was looking at this crazy presidential race, domestic weed companies were rolling blunts. Ballot measures passed in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota to legalize weed. This means that adult pot use is legal in 15 states. However, despite this growing support, federal legalization remains, unlikely.
Meanwhile, Around The Rest of Country:
Oregon is the first state to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) or psilocybin (the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms). Getting caught with small amounts will now be a civil offense resulting in small fines and addiction treatment, but no jail time. Selling and manufacturing drugs is still a crime, though. So, no Breaking Bad.
Oregon also raised the cigarette tax from $1.33 per pack to $3.33 per pack. Yikes! If you ever needed a reason to stop smoking, I think Oregon just gave you one.
Georgia is still on my mind. In the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, where Ahmaud Arbery was murdered, they changed the D.A. YEA! Republican DA Jackie Johnson was defeated by Independent Keith Higgs. I guess the people don’t like a D.A.’s investigator gunning down an innocent unarmed black man and then the D.A. taking 2 months charge them. So, Jackie, you just lost one.
Florida approved Amendment 2 to raise the state’s minimum wage incrementally from its current $8.56 to $15 by September 2026. Next year it will rise to $10, then $1 dollar a year until it hits $15. Good job ON THIS, Florida.
Florida voters also decided against switching to an open primary system for state offices, which would have allowed voters to choose a primary regardless of their political affiliation.
Wisconsin elected, Samba Baldeh, the first Muslim state congressman to its 48th district and the first black man from Dane county. He won 80% of the vote. Congrats!
Oklahoma also made history by electing, Mauree Turner, as the first Muslim to be elected for the Oklahoma Legislature and the first nonbinary legislator in America. (Nonbinary means their gender identity is not strictly male or female.)
Nevada, overwhelmingly, passed an initiative that will change the state constitution to define marriage as between couples regardless of gender. This initiative was brought after comments from 2 Supreme Court Justices (Thomas and Alito) that they believe the same-sex marriage ruling in Obergefell was incorrectly decided. Kudos to you, Nevada.
Colorado rejected a measure that would have made it a misdemeanor to perform abortions after 22 weeks. Thus, keeping Colorado as one of the few states with no restrictions based on fetal age. In another race, Colorado voted to bring the gray wolves back and reintroduce them to Colorado land. 70 years ago their gray wolf population was almost wiped out. Supporters want the wolves to help curve the deer and elk overpopulation. Opponents are scared the wolves won’t stick to wildlife but, might also eat their livestock.
Alabama, Colorado, and Florida all passed constitutional amendments excluding non-U. S. citizens from voting. In all states, citizenship is a requirement for voting. So, this is essentially just a double down. We get it.
Louisiana added constitutional language stating “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” Yea, we understand, no abortion rights.
Mississippi’s flag will have a brand new look. They voted to replace a 126-year-old design that included a Confederate battle emblem. It will now have a magnolia and stars and include the phrase “In God We Trust.” They also approved a measure that triggers a runoff if a candidate doesn’t receive a majority vote, a change to a Jim Crow-era election provision that had the state Legislature decide.
In Washington State, voters approved a new law requiring public schools to provide “age-appropriate” comprehensive sexual-health education to students. This was a hard fought win for the state. It came after a state senate bill that only had Democrat support was passed. This bill triggered a huge backlash. Subsequently, there was a petition that forced the issue on the ballot and the partisan fight ensued. One of the opponents, the Catholic Church, said that teaching affirmative consent goes against their religious beliefs on premarital sex. Just going to leave that here, because the alternative is just scary.
Nebraska voters said YES to casino gambling at horse racetracks.
Rhode Island is dropping part of its name. They approved dropping the “and Providence Plantations” from the official name of the state. So, they will officially be known as what we call them just Rhode Island. This was tried 10 years ago but it failed. I mean really Rhode Island, what was your desire to keep this name? Glad you got over it though.
New Mexico made state history and elected all women of color for its U.S. House of Representatives seats. There were victories for incumbent Rep. Deb Haaland (Democrat), Yvette Herrell (Republican) and Teresa Leger Fernandez (Democrat). The first state to do this was Hawaii in 1990.
Missouri elected, Cori Bush, the state’s first Black congresswoman. She hit the political scene as a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter and a leader during the 2014 protests of the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
LGBTQ politicians are also winning. The House gained its most diverse members in terms of LGBTQ from new elections and re-elections this year. Nine people (7 in the House and 2 in the Senate) that openly identify as LGBTQ will be in the 117th Congress. Congrats! Also, in Delaware, the nation’s first openly transgender state senator was elected. Not to be outdone, Vermont elected, Taylor Small, who will the first transgender person to serve in the state House of Representatives.
The End. Now, let’s find out who will be President.