We’ll be updating this post throughout election day as returns come in. Check back often to keep up to date on all the latest developments!
Students in Colorado and nationwide lose defender in U.S. Senate
U.S. Senator Mark Udall was defeated tonight in his bid for re-election by challenger Cory Gardner. Students in Colorado and across the country are losing a steadfast defender in Udall, who has a consistent record of supporting funding for critical federal education programs. Udall was outspoken in his support for reducing class sizes in grades 1-3 and commonsense fixes to make college more affordable. Cory Gardner brings a voting record from the US House of Representatives that does not favor public education. He has supported large tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations while opposing education funding for federal programs. He voted five times to cut Pell Grants.
Spark of hope extinguished in Wisconsin
Despite the best efforts of public education advocates, Gov. Scott Walker survived a spirited challenge from Mary Burke. Public schools have suffered under Walker’s policies, which put special interests before the needs of students. He vastly expanded a voucher scheme that puts public money into unaccountable private schools and stripped educators of rights that allow them to advocate for students. Looks like students and educators will have to spend another four years with the governor that has already cut $1.3 billion from their schools.
Arkansas students and educators will feel election night losses
It was a tough night for students and public education advocates in Arkansas as Mike Ross was defeated by Asa Hutchinson in the race for governor and Mark Pryor was defeated by Tom Cotton in the U.S. Senate race. Term-limited outgoing governor Mike Beebe oversaw an era of tremendous investment in education that is unlikely to continue under governor-elect Hutchinson, who has likened education spending to “welfare-type spending.” Tom Cotton has advocated abolishing federal student loans, although he used federal loans to finance his own Harvard education.
Gary Peters wins U.S. Senate seat in Michigan
There was a clear choice in the race for the US Senate in Michigan. And voters elected Gary Peters, the candidate who has fought for affordable higher education and believes that educators should have a voice in the legislative process. U.S. Rep. Peters denounced Gov. Snyder’s attacks on Michigan educators, while his opponent, Terry Lynn Land, said Snyder has “done a great job,” despite the fact that Snyder cut more than $1 billion from Michigan schools.
It’s official: Pennsylvania has a new governor!
Tom Wolf has won the race for governor. This is a victory for students and schools. Education activists in Pennsylvania began working well before the election to kept education front and center, consistently forcing Corbett to defend his decision to cut $1 billion from the state’s public education budget. Pennsylvania educators also forced Corbett to explain to parents and communities why he made harmful decisions that led to larger class sizes, higher college tuition costs for aspiring students, and shifted public dollars away from public education to pay for private school vouchers.
New from Florida: Voting problems spur Democrats to ask for extended voting hours
The Charlie Crist campaign filed an emergency motion with a circuit court to extend voting hours in Broward County from 7 pm to 9 pm after reports of voting irregularities and confusion.
Florida: Voters cite education, same-sex marriage, economy as key issues in close governor’s race
Voters are deciding on issues like the legalization of medical marijuana, allowing the expansion of Florida International University and, of course, who will be the next governor of Florida. There are also other municipal and state races being decided today.
Starting from when precincts opened Tuesday morning, here are dispatches from polling locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and additional coverage from the Herald’s political reporters.
Read the complete article at MiamiHerald.com.
North Carolina: North Carolina Association of Educators files complaint over lookalike election ads
The North Carolina Association of Educators filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections on Tuesday over handouts they say are misleading voters at multiple Wake County polling locations.
In a letter to Board of Elections Director Kim Strach, the group says the campaign committee for state Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, handed out fliers implying NCAE endorsed his candidacy as well as those of state Reps. John Szoka, R-Cumberland, and Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania. They’re asking the board of elections to stop the N.C. Healthy Leadership Committee from passing out the fliers.
The apple-shaped cards are similar to handouts distributed by NCAE for years. They do not explicitly say the teachers group supports the candidates. Instead, they say the NCAE supported legislation the incumbent candidates have worked on.
Read more at WRAL.org.
Illinois: Voters report problems at Chicago polling locations
Voters reported a spate of problems around the Chicago area — from closed polling locations to inoperable voting machines to missing ballot pages — soon after voting kicked off at 6 a.m.
“No election officials. No keys to supplies,” voter Mark Nunez wrote to NBC Chicago. “I had to catch a plane, so I will not be able to vote. Very frustrated.”
Read more at NBCChicago.com.
Connecticut: Malloy campaign to ask for voting extension
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s campaign will be filing a complaint in Hartford Superior Court, asking that voting hours be extended because of delays and other problems at Hartford polling locations this morning, according to a statement from the Malloy campaign.
They said this is to accommodate voters who could not to vote or were discouraged from voting this morning, the campaign said.
Did you experience or witness voter intimidation or suppression?
Election Protection is a non-partisan project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights that helps protect voting rights for all Americans. This November will be the first major election after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, which stripped many communities of a key federal protection to halt the implementation of discriminatory voting changes, and many are expecting a higher than usual number of attempts to restrict the rights of legal voters.
If you experience or witness voter intimidation or suppression while casting your ballot, call the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-888-VEY-VOTA por espanol) to file a report. A lawyer will help walk you through the steps necessary to make sure every vote counts!
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