2020 General Election Results
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Although the Presidential election may be the most eye-catching and covered type of election every four years, there are always other important decisions voters make that are also included in the U.S. general election. This year was no exception, from a list of propositions in the state of California, new bills in other states, the election of state legislators across the country, and hotly contested Congressional races.
There were 12 propositions on the ballot this year in the state of California. Only five of them were able to pass. Here were some of the more significant/talked about ones:
Proposition 16, NO 57% — Prop 16 would have allowed for affirmative action to have been used legally for hiring in governmental positions.
Proposition 17, YES 58% — This restores the right to vote for people who have completed their prison term who would have lost it otherwise. This is a really big deal; this returns the right to vote to about 50,000 people in the state of California. This type of measure has been a highly-talked about idea recently across the country, and similar propositions have popped up in a few other states as well for the past few years.
Proposition 21, NO 60% — This would have increased the power of local and state authorities in the form of stronger rent control than they already had. This was supposed to address the current housing crisis in California that consists of a significant lack of middle and lower-class housing.
Proposition 22, YES 58% — The passage of Prop 22 for the most part maintains the current legal status of app-based drivers (like Uber and Lyft drivers) as independent contractors and not employees. If it wouldn’t have passed, then app-based rideshare companies would have had to grant more rights to employees like paid time off and holidays. It also would have given stronger legal protections to app-based drivers who would want to unionize.
Proposition 24, YES 56% — Gives consumers stronger role in allowing companies to store their private information
Proposition 25, NO 56% — The disapproval of this prop will see much higher restriction of criminals being offered cash bail over risk assessment. This is a very strong example of criminal justice reform. New York approved a similar bill.
A common trend in propositions/bills that passed in other states this election cycle was drugs. Many states including but not limited to Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey passed some sort of Marijuana recreational and/or medical legalization. Oregon decriminalized drug use entirely, the first state to do so; this is a huge step for them, and maybe even the rest of the country, in some sort of significant criminal justice reform.
There were of course other notable laws that voters passed across the country. Florida passed a $15 minimum wage, the eighth state to do so. Texas passed some of the strongest bills in the country that against surprise medical bills, which have the potential to really cripple some lower-class citizens who already have trouble affording medical expenses. Colorado passed stronger paid family/medical leave laws, and they rejected a bill that would have brought some strict abortion regulations.
States across the country not only approved some pretty ground-breaking legislation, but also made strides in electing people to positions that show social progress. Sarah McBride in Delaware became the country’s first openly transgender state senator. Another member of the LGBTQ + community, Mauree Turner, became Oklahoma’s first Muslim lawmaker and the country’s first non-binary state legislator. New Mexico became the first state ever to elect all women of color to the House of Representatives. Cori Bush became Missouri’s first black Congresswoman, and she was one of 115 women of color who were nominees for the U.S. house according to the Center of African Women and Politics.
At the federal level, the race to see who would control Congress was as fierce as ever. In the 2018 midterm election the Democratic party took a sweeping victory in the House of Representatives by gaining 41 seats. That took away control from the Republican party in the House; it put them at 235 seats, which is 17 more than the 218 needed to have a majority. Some major news outlets predicted that the Democratic party would increase their majority, however their majority ended up decreasing. Because not all of the votes have been counted, the exact numbers each party will have in the House is still unknown. As of now, it is unclear how big the Democratic majority will be.
This year in the Senate there were 35 seats up for election. Previously, the Republican party held a majority with 53 of the 100 seats. It’s likely that if they retain control that they will act as extreme obstructionists to President-elect Biden. So far, the Democrats have gained one seat, giving them 48.
The entire nation’s eyes are now on the state of Georgia. Both of Georgia’s senate seats were up for election this year. In both cases, the Republican candidate got more votes than the Democratic one, however neither one got more than 50% of the vote. Per Georgia law, there’s going to be a second election for both seats now in January. If the Democrats win both seats, then there will be a 50-50 tie between the two parties in the senate; in cases of ties, the Vice President (who is going to be a Democrat) votes to break the tie. These are likely going to be the most expensive senate races of all time. Many are looking to the leadership of former Georgia House of Representatives member Stacey Abrams. She’s credited with helping to “flip” Georgia, which was previously seen as a Republican stronghold, in favor of Joe Biden in the presidential election by starting a movement that got more than 800,000 people just simply registered to vote.