As a whirlwind presidential election continues to unfold, it’s possible you’ve had your eyes glued to a screen for any sign of who will be America’s next president and missed some other key decisions that have played out across the U.S. over the past 18 hours.
The Squad holds steady in congress
All four members of the Squad — Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — all held on to their seats in the U.S. Congress.
All four women saw landslide victories over their Republican counterparts.
$15 minimum wage increase coming in Florida:
Voters in Florida have approved a wage increase that will see minimum wage rise to $15 per hour, up from the current $8.56, by 2026.
Florida will be the eighth state to implement a $15 wage. Federally, minimum wage sits at $7.25.
First transgender state senator elected
In Delaware, Sarah McBride has made history. The senator-elect will become the first transgender state senator in U.S. history and the highest-ranking transgender official in the country.
The 30-year-old took to her Twitter Tuesday to thank voters for turning out. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride wrote.
Drugs on the ballot
In Oregon Tuesday, voters opted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs, such as cocaine. Rather than facing a trial and possible jail time, those arrested with small amounts of hard drugs would see a $100 fine and attend an addiction recovery program. Voters in Oregon also legalized the therapeutic use of Psilocybin mushrooms, which have a hallucinogenic effect.
Meanwhile, voters in New Jersey and Arizona have legalized cannabis use for those over the age of 21.
Louisiana voters reject abortion rights, but Colorado protects
The southern state has voted decisively — with 62 per cent of voters in favour — to add language to its constitution stating that abortion is not protected as a right, and that the state is not required to fund it.
Colorado’s Proposition 115, which sought to ban abortions after 22 weeks gestation for any reason except immediate risk of death a pregnant mother, was rejected by 59.1 per cent of voters.