Live: Georgia's U.S. Senate seat is headed to a runoff, and Alaska's may not have a result for over a week

Published November 9, 2022 at 6:05 AM EST

This blog is no longer being updated. Check out Wednesday's blog for the latest on races across the country.

Here's the latest on where things stand for the House of Representatives and for the Senate.

Typically, the president’s party suffers major losses in the midterms. The Democrats appear to have defied that precedent. For his part, President Biden says he'll decide on a 2024 run "early next year."

Plus, the country's longest-serving attorney general lost his reelection bid, Georgia's U.S. Senate seat is headed to a runoff and it will likely be days before we know who wins in Alaska's rank choice Senate race.

Our reporters are working around the clock to bring you essential information about the midterm elections. We depend on support from people like you to do this vital work and more. Donate today to ensure trustworthy news and analysis are here for you when you need it.

Can you govern a divided nation?

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:45 PM EST

Control of Congress remains uncertain as various contests have yet to be called.

One thing known at this point when it comes to the Senate is that Georgia's runoff election in December will determine whether incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock or Republican challenger Herschel Walker will head to D.C. in January.

If Republicans retake control of one or both chambers of Congress, a new era of divided government will follow. How can lawmakers and the president govern in a divided country with a narrowly split Congress?

Jim Messina, former White House deputy chief of staff under President Barack Obama, told NPR's Juana Summers that this particular power dynamic means the Biden administration will have to "find things [to] do with the Republicans."

"He has three tools in [a] narrowly divided Congress. The first is the veto pen, and he can definitely express his displeasure. The second thing [he] can do is executive orders, and that's what President Trump did after he lost the House," Messina said. "And the third thing is compromise."

That means working with Republican leadership. The House's current minority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, has already announced his bid for House speaker should his party retake the chamber.

Republican strategist Ron Bonjean predicts there will be "a lot of pressure on likely incoming Speaker McCarthy to start using the House as a loudspeaker for the 2024 election."

McCarthy may also have his hands full with various factions within the Republican Party.

"One of the philosophies that we had in the 2000s is that we didn't bring anything to the floor unless we had a majority of members supporting it," said Bonjean. "That could mean that there will be a lot of backroom negotiating and deal-making before we get to that point. The Freedom Caucus and other members are going to be very outspoken and demanding. ... We've already seen lots of documents being put forward by the Freedom Caucus on what they are planning to do next year, which shows how forceful their loudspeakers [are] going to be."

Messina and Bonjean offer some advice for governing a divided country effectively.

Messina says clear communication is crucial.

"[Make] sure people understand exactly what you're doing and why you're doing it," he said. "And then, second, never forget the people that elected you and what they want. And they keep saying over and over and over to both parties, 'We want you to work together. We want you to figure out some of these things.' And my advice would be, listen to the voters. They're much smarter than they're given credit for in Washington, D.C."

Bonjean agrees and suggests keeping communication lines open among the White House, the Senate majority leader and the House speaker.

"We have seen a number of members not win their elections because they didn't listen to the voters back home," he said. "They got caught up in the national spotlight and the attention you get from taking more hard-line positions and ... many of them aren't coming back. So I think it's really important to stay in touch with your elected leaders to find out where the pressure points are to get things done."

Member Station Reports
From Connecticut Public

Jahana Hayes declares victory in closely-watched Connecticut congressional race

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:23 PM EST

Rep. Jahana Hayes made history in 2018 as the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress.

Groups aligned with Republican and Democratic parties blanketed Connecticut in recent weeks with television campaign ads as they spent a record $12 million to influence a race that polls indicated would be a dead heat.

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The Humane Society's political arm says it's been a good election for animal lovers

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:17 PM EST
A small dog perches in their owner's arm as she sits waiting to vote.
Ringo H.W. Chiu
/
AP
Candy Campos and Bella wait at a voting station in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The 2022 midterms — even with some races outstanding — were another win for animal advocates, according to the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF).

The group, which describes itself as the nation's largest and most impactful political advocacy organization for animals, issued a news release on Wednesday outlining its campaign efforts and celebrating the successes of some of its endorsed candidates.

"We knew for certain coming into this election season that it would be a fateful one for animals, and we mobilized accordingly," wrote President Sara Amundson, adding that the organization made substantial commitments, contributions and endorsements at the state and federal levels.

"We’re confident that we’ll be able to report on the success of a number of candidates we endorsed and supported," she added.

Among them:

— Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race: HSLF described animal welfare issues as especially prominent in this race, after Republican candidate Mehmet Oz was accused of animal testing. The group launched a TV ad lauding the positive record of his Democratic opponent, John Fetterman — a rescue dog dad who ended up winning the race.

House members: HSLF states, "Several of the most prominent pro-animal congressmen made it clear that ours is a winning issue by securing re-election in the U.S. House, and we did our best to help them." Those include Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who co-chair the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, as well as newly elected House members Laurel Lee, R-Fla., and Nikki Budzinski, D-Ill.

Governors: The group says it also supported the election of animal-friendly candidates at the local and state levels, including Democratic Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire.

"We know good public policy comes from electing humane candidates to office—and that’s why we work so hard to accomplish that goal, in every election cycle," Amundson said, thanking supporters for their help and urging patience while the remaining votes are tallied.

Here's more on the candidates HSLF endorsed and the animal welfare issues at stake this election season.

Here's where things stand for the House of Representatives

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:13 PM EST

As of 8 p.m. ET, 44 House races have yet to be called. Of those, 15 are considered to be toss-up races. 184 races have been called for Democrats and 207 for Republicans. 218 is what either party needs to be in the majority come January.

The Associated Press estimates the margin of victory for either Democrats or Republicans in the House will be quite close. Ballots continue to be counted across the United States.

If Republicans win a majority of seats, it will set up divided government in Washington. The party in power historically loses House seats in midterm elections. And Republicans need a net gain of only five seats to cement control in the House.

The last time the president and congressional leaders were from different parties was 2019, when Democrats retook control of the House in the 2018 midterms, which saw a "blue wave."

These are the Senate races we're still waiting on (and could be for a while)

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:13 PM EST

Control of the Senate is still hanging in the balance as of Wednesday evening, as several key races remain too close to call.

Democrats picked up a seat Tuesday night in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman defeated Mehmet Oz to flip a Senate seat most recently held by a Republican. And Republicans held onto a seat when Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race was called in favor of incumbent Ron Johnson on Wednesday.

That leaves several crucial Senate races still undecided: Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. We're also waiting on Alaska, which will take two weeks and where the top two candidates are both Republicans.

We won't know the results of Georgia's race for even longer, as incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker are heading to a runoff election on Dec. 6 (since neither candidate got more than 50% of the vote).

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly holds an early lead over Republican Blake Masters, with just 67% of votes tallied as of 7 p.m. ET Wednesday. Maricopa County, the state's most populous county, said on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of ballots still need to be counted and that full results aren't expected until later this week.

In Nevada, Trump-backed former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and holds a lead of roughly 2 percentage points with an estimated 77% of votes counted. State officials say it could be a few more days until all the mail-in ballots in the two most populous counties — Clark and Washoe — are counted.

In other words, we could still be waiting for a while.

As senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro put it on Wednesday morning: "So, let's say if Democrats hold on in Arizona, but lose in Nevada, then Georgia will decide control of the Senate in a runoff in about a month, Dec. 6. Wow."

Meanwhile, Republicans are poised to regain control of the House of Representatives, albeit by a smaller margin than expected.

Member Station Reports
From KANU Arizona Public Radio

Navajo President Jonathan Nez defeated by political newcomer Buu Nygren

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:06 PM EST

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s vote show political newcomer Buu Nygren will take over as the tribe’s top elected official.

His apparent victory also means a woman will be elected as Navajo vice president for the first time.

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Member Station Reports
From KTOO in Juneau, Alaska

We likely won't know who won Alaska's U.S. Senate race until Nov. 23

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:40 PM EST

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, closely trails her more conservative Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka.

However, Tshibaka’s lead isn’t decisive. This is Alaska’s first ranked choice general election, so the final winner will likely come out of the ranked choice tabulation scheduled for Nov. 23.

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More from Alaska
➡️ Full election results

NAACP issues statement on Georgia's runoff election for U.S. Senate

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:20 PM EST

As the U.S. Senate race in Georgia heads into a runoff election, taking place on Dec. 6, NAACP President Derrick Johnson issued a statement celebrating the nation’s "unwavering commitment" to civic duty.

"Black voters in Georgia consistently rise to the occasion and show up to the polls in increasing numbers every election year despite efforts to keep them at home," Johnson said in his statement.

He emphasized that Georgia voters should make plans to vote on Dec. 6 in the runoff election.

"This runoff may very well determine the future of our democracy," Johnson added.

A 'rainbow wave' of LGBTQ candidates has won this election season

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:07 PM EST

Across the U.S., a record number of LGBTQ candidates have won elections up and down the ballot since Tuesday, with over 350 reported victories, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

The totals have already surpassed the 336-seat record set in 2020.

"Bigots tried their best to undermine our political power – but their hate backfired and motivated more LGBTQ people to run and win than ever before," LGBTQ Victory Fund President Annise Parker said in a statement on Wednesday. She added that the "Rainbow Wave is a clear rebuke to the increased homophobia and transphobia sweeping our communities – and proves voters want to elect qualified LGBTQ leaders."

Notably in Massachusetts, Democrat Maura Healey made history as the first openly lesbian woman to be elected governor of a state. "I want to say something to every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there," Healey said Tuesday night. "I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be."

Close by in Vermont, Democrat Becca Balint was elected to the House of Representatives, marking the first time a woman or gay person will serve in the U.S. House from that state.

In New York, Republican George Santos won his House race against Democrat Robert Zimmerman — both candidates are openly gay men.

Voters in New Hampshire also made history in their state House election, voting in Democrat James Roesener, the first transgender man ever elected to a state legislature.

"Only six trans men serve in any office in the United States of America, and breaking that barrier, I think, is gonna be important to showcase to trans men and trans and nonbinary people that they need to keep stepping forward to run and they can win," LGBTQ Victory Fund Vice President Sean Meloy said.

Two Democratic trans women also won state legislative races — Leigh Finke in Minnesota and Zooey Zephyr in Montana — and both will be the first transgender elected officials in their states.

And the record-breaking count of LGBTQ candidate wins could increase, including in Oregon, where Tina Kotek, who's lesbian, is running for governor. Though The Associated Press has yet to make a race call, she currently holds a slight lead.

Member Station Reports
From KUOW in Seattle

Dan Newhouse has won reelection, making him one of the last Republican Trump impeachers still standing

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:33 PM EST

Of those House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump in early 2021, four retired and another four lost to Trump-backed candidates in their primaries.

Just two advanced to the general election: Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington’s 4th Congressional District and Rep. David Valadao of California.

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On Tuesday night, Valadao was also leading in his reelection bid.

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More from Washington state
➡️ Full election results
➡️ Election coverage from KUOW, KNKX and Spokane Public Radio

International observers monitored the midterms. Their report is mixed

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:28 PM EST

More than 100 parliamentarians from over 30 countries traveled to the U.S. to observe the country's midterm elections, the largest delegation in the roughly two decades that this practice has been happening.

Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) deployed to a number of states to observe polling places on Tuesday.

Their mission was to assess the elections against commitments from a 1990 human rights agreement, paying especially close attention to the campaign environment, the legal framework, election administration, new voting technologies, redistricting issues, Election Day procedures and media coverage.

They released their preliminary findings in a statement on Wednesday in which they described Tuesday's elections as "competitive and professionally managed, with active voter participation, but also with threats against election workers and efforts to undermine voters' trust in the electoral process by baselessly questioning its integrity."

While candidates were able to campaign freely, many races were highly polarized and damaged by "harsh rhetoric," and partisan redistricting made for "many instances of uncompetitive constituencies," the assessment continued.

Observers also noted that campaigns were divisive, with rhetoric that sometimes included racist and transphobic tropes. And they raised alarm that several Republican candidates in key states challenged or refused to accept the legitimacy of previous election results.

“The American people once again demonstrated their commitment to democratic elections in a hard-fought campaign and professionally run process,” said Margareta Cederfelt, the OSCE special coordinator and leader of the short-term observers.

“Unfortunately, we also noted that baseless allegations of fraud continued to have a serious result, in harassment of and threats against election officials. Certain systemic challenges, such as gerrymandering, enabling politicians to choose their voters, rather than the opposite, and the outsized influence of money on campaigning, must be addressed to ensure real equality of the vote.”

Their evaluation also covered election-related threats, campaign finance regulation (and lack thereof), the diverse yet polarized media landscape and alternate voting methods.

Pere Joan Pons, head of the delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, put it this way: “The challenges to democracy that the U.S. faces are common to many OSCE countries, and we must all work together to ensure that the citizens have trust in their democratic processes.”

In related news, the nonprofit Carter Center — which has monitored more than 110 elections worldwide and was co-founded by former President Jimmy Carter — observed voting within the U.S. for the first time on Tuesday, in Fulton County, Georgia.

Member Station Reports
From The Texas Newsroom

'You f***ed with the wrong mom': Despite outrage, Uvalde residents voted to keep the state’s GOP in power

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:06 PM EST
Felix and Kimberly Rubio (left), parents of 10-year-old Alexandria Rubio, who was killed during the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022, hold a photo of their daughter during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2022.
Saul Loeb
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AFP/Getty Images
Felix and Kimberly Rubio (left), parents of 10-year-old Alexandria Rubio, who was killed during the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022, hold a photo of their daughter during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2022.

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school in May, calls for gun-law reform reached a fever pitch as outraged Texans blamed state leaders and the firearm policies they champion for being partly responsible for the massacre.

On Tuesday, however, the outrage that still exists for some in the small community didn’t translate at the polls as incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, won Uvalde County over his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke. The county also voted overwhelmingly to keep Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans.

"I wanted to send a message but, instead, the state of Texas sent me a message: my daughter's murder wasn’t enough. Just know, you f***ed with the wrong mom," tweeted Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter, Lexi, died in the school shooting. “It doesn’t end tonight. I’ll fight until I have nothing left to give. Lexi’s legacy will be change.”

➡️ Keep reading

NPR Newscast

Phoenix sheriff warns of consequences if conspiracy theorists get violent again

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:53 PM EST
Phoenix Sheriff Paul Penzone never thought he'd see the day when local leaders would have to barricade the Maricopa County voting center with fencing and a huge police presence.
Matt York
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AP
Phoenix Sheriff Paul Penzone never thought he'd see the day when local leaders would have to barricade the Maricopa County voting center with fencing and a huge police presence.

In Phoenix, the Maricopa County sheriff is warning that there will be consequences if election conspiracy theorists start stoking violence again like they did in 2020.

Tens of thousands of votes in Arizona's most populous county are still being counted.

Phoenix Sheriff Paul Penzone never thought he'd see the day when local leaders would have to barricade the Maricopa County voting center with fencing and a huge police presence, NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

Penzone said it doesn't feel very American.

"This isn't reflective of that — this type of behavior where it requires basically making this almost a militarized zone of law enforcement to protect ballots and people and the opportunity to vote in a free and thoughtful nation," he added.

After the 2020 election, far-right conspiracy theorists camped out for weeks in Phoenix, where the "Stop the Steal" movement began.

ICYMI

Biden was asked about possible Trump vs. DeSantis primary contest

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:42 PM EST

Asked who he thinks would be a tougher competitor in the 2024 presidential race — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former President Trump — Biden quipped: "It'll be fun watching them take on each other."

Some turbulence is taking place within the Republican Party. Trump called the governor "Ron DeSanctimonious" at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania last Saturday and is still throwing jabs as the 2022 midterm election results continue to roll out.

Trump compared himself with DeSantis on Truth Social, the former president's social media site, following Florida's election results.

"Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million?" Trump wrote. "Just asking?"

Truth Social

DeSantis swept the gubernatorial race, winning by nearly 20 percentage points more than his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist. The governor has also been eyeing the 2024 presidential election, but Trump is telling DeSantis to sit the race out.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that DeSantis shouldn't consider entering the presidential race. If he does, Trump said, "I would tell you things about him that won't be very flattering. I know more about him than anybody — other than, perhaps, his wife."

What is a runoff election? Let's break down what's happening in Georgia

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:36 PM EST
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, right.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades (left photo)/Ben Gray (right photo)
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AP
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, right.

The U.S. Senate race in Georgia is heading to a runoff election, where Democrat Raphael Warnock will face Republican Herschel Walker for a second time.

On top of this race being exceptionally close, Georgia is also one of only two U.S. states with a runoff for both primary and general elections.

This means that under Georgia election law, if no candidate obtains over 50% of the vote, a runoff is triggered, and the top two candidates will face off again in a new election held four weeks after Election Day.

In this case, Warnock and Walker's runoff election will take place on Dec. 6. There is no required threshold to win in that race.

The December election will mark the second time that Warnock's bid for the Senate has gone to a runoff. Two years ago, he defeated then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, in a runoff race.

The predecessor of Georgia's runoff election was adopted after the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved people in Southern states. Runoffs were seen as additional roadblocks for Black people to vote, according to the U.S. Vote Foundation, which characterizes the practice as having "Jim Crow roots."

Member Station Reports
From Connecticut Public

Connecticut's next state treasurer could be the first Black, out LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in the U.S.

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST

Erick Russell appears poised to become Connecticut’s next state treasurer.

If elected, Erick Russell would be the first Black out LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in U.S. history, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. Russell is an attorney who specializes in municipal finances.

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More from Connecticut:
➡️ Election results
➡️ Election coverage from Connecticut Public

Must Read

Voters in cities across the country push for an increase in affordable housing

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST

Approximately 80% of the votes have been counted in Colorado, and about half of the ballots counted are in support of allocating taxes for an affordable housing fund through Proposition 123. The measure would dedicate 2% of funds collected from income tax toward affordable housing projects, about six times more than the state currently spends on housing.

As upset as people are about prices at the pump, many voters across the country are more concerned with keeping a roof over their heads, with those in dozens of cities supporting affordable housing ballot measures.

Kansas City plans to fund “deeply affordable” housing with rents as low as $550 to $750 per month, according to member station KCUR’s reporting, to the tune of $50 million spent over the next five years. Voters there overwhelmingly supportedthe measure, with 71% voting in favor of the initiative.

And in Texas, Austin passed its largest affordable housing bond measure ever. Voters there approved the city borrowing $350 million to tackle affordable housing projects, NPR station KUT reported.

Though ballots are still being counted, Los Angeles residents voted on whether to impose a 4% or higher tax on property sales over $5 million through Proposition ULA. The money brought in from that measure would help tackle the city’s housing shortage and efforts to prevent homelessness.

It was a mixed bag for cannabis legalization efforts in five states

Posted November 9, 2022 at 5:54 PM EST
Jeremy Baldwin tags young cannabis plants at a marijuana farm operated by Greenlight, in Grandview, Mo.
Charlie Riedel
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AP
Young cannabis plants are cared for at a marijuana farm operated by Greenlight, in Grandview, Mo.

It was a mixed night for cannabis advocates as measures to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana passed in Maryland and Missouri but were soundly rejected in reliably red Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The two wins mean 21 states, D.C. and two U.S. territories have now legalized cannabis for recreational use. Sixteen states and two territories have legalized marijuana for medical use.

Missouri will now create a statewide licensing program to grow and sell marijuana. The Maryland vote allows state lawmakers to set up the parameters of the state's recreational cannabis industry. Both measures will establish procedures to expunge records for those charged with non-violent, low-level pot possession.

But the results in Arkansas and the Dakotas are a clear disappointment for the legalization movement. Arkansas was aiming to become the first state in the Deep South to legalize recreational pot. The measure lost with 56% voting against. Proponents had hoped for legalization breakthroughs in the Dakotas after multiple fits and starts in recent years. South Dakota voters approved legalization in 2020, only to have it thrown out by the state Supreme Court. North Dakota voters in 2016 passed a measure allowing medical marijuana use in the state.

Read the full story here.

Member Station Reports
From Iowa Public Radio

The longest serving state Attorney General in the U.S. just lost reelection

Posted November 9, 2022 at 5:49 PM EST
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller conceded to Republican Brenna Bird.
Matt Rourke
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AP
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller conceded to Republican Brenna Bird.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller won’t serve an 11th term as the state’s top legal official.

The Democrat and longest-serving state attorney general in the nation said he called Republican challenger Guthrie County Attorney Brenna Bird last night to concede. The Associated Press called the race for Bird Wednesday afternoon, with her leading by less than 2 percentage points.

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More Iowa election coverage:
➡️ Election results
➡️ Election coverage from Iowa Public Radio

Interview

Author Robert Draper says Trumpism did not claim 'resounding victory'

Posted November 9, 2022 at 5:26 PM EST
(L-R) Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Arizona state Sen. David Gowan, Arizona attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh, Arizona senate candidate Blake Masters and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem hold a press conference as the Republican candidates tour the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday.
Kevin Dietsch
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Getty Images
(L-R) Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Arizona state Sen. David Gowan, Arizona attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh, Arizona senate candidate Blake Masters and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem hold a news conference as the Republican candidates tour the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday.

This year’s elections included candidates running on alternative facts, particularly the widely debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

But these candidates have had mixed success in the midterms so far.

Robert Draper is a New York Times Magazine contributor and author of Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind. Draper told NPR's Morning Edition that he is still watching the races in Arizona where election deniers are on the ballot and votes are still being counted.

“It’s clear that Trumpism was not the resounding victory that the former president and others of his stripe had hoped for,” Draper said. “The one that I am particularly interested in is Mark Finchem who’s running for secretary of state ... in Arizona, has been a very vociferous 2020 election denier, was at the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Results from some races in Arizona will likely not come until later this week because of hundreds of thousands of ballots that still need to be countedfrom Maricopa County.

But Draper isn’t just watching the results – he’s also watching to see if the results are accepted and if those who lose their races concede or try to start further conspiracy theories.

Biden plans to decide on running in 2024 'early next year'

Posted November 9, 2022 at 4:58 PM EST

Biden reiterated he plans run for president in 2024.

"My intention is that I run again," he said during Wednesday's news conference. "But I'm a great respecter of fate and this is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run but they're going to — we're going to -- have discussions about it."

He added he's not in "any hurry" to decide but generally gave a decision timeline of "early next year."

In response to a question about House Republicans' plans to conduct investigations into the Biden administration and the president's family, Biden said: "Lots of luck in your senior year, as my coach used to say."

“I think the American people want us to move on and do the things for them,” Biden added.

If Republicans take the House, they are expected to launch investigations into domestic violent extremism; allegations against President Biden's son, Hunter Biden; and the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's home where agents seized classified documents, which have become the subject of an ongoing legal battle.

Biden said he plans to talk with Republican leader Kevin McCarthy today

Posted November 9, 2022 at 4:51 PM EST

President Biden said that he doesn't have "much occasion" to talk with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy but that he plans to speak with him "later today."

Biden, who travels to the Middle East and Asia this week, also said during his Wednesday afternoon press conference that he will invite congressional leaders from both parties to the White House after his foreign trip.

“I’m prepared to work with my Republican colleagues,” he said. “The American people have made clear, I think, that my Republican colleagues be prepared to work with me as well.”

But he added that “under no circumstances” will he support proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security or any attempt to pass a federal abortion ban.

He said he is "ready to compromise with Republicans" on other issues where it makes sense, but didn't provide any specifics.

When asked whether the Democrats could keep the House, Biden said there was “a possibility.”

“Based on what we know as of today, we’ve lost very few seats for certain,” he said. “We still have a possibility of keeping the House, but it’s going to be close.”

Republicans are widely expected to take the House.

Biden calls Tuesday a "good day" for democracy

Posted November 9, 2022 at 4:38 PM EST
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.
Susan Walsh
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AP
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.

"It was a good day, I think, for democracy," President Biden said of yesterday's midterm elections during a news conference at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

"Our democracy has been tested in recent years but with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven once again, that democracy is who we are," he said.

Biden acknowledged the full election results are still pending, with the exact makeup of the next Congress uncertain.

"Here's what we do know: While the press and the pundits predict[ed] a giant red wave, it didn't happen," he said.

"Some good Democrats didn't win last night," Biden acknowledged. One loss that's particularly stinging for Democrats is that of New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Biden said voters "spoke clearly about their concerns" about rising costs.

"There's still a lot of people hurting. They're very concerned — and it's about crime and public safety," he said. "And they sent a clear and unmistakable message that they want to preserve our democracy and protect the right to choose in this country."

Biden noted there was significant turnout among young people in the election, and said that he called Florida Democrat Maxwell Frost on Tuesday night to congratulate him on his historic win. Frost will be the first member of Generation Z elected to serve in Congress.

Biden said he was optimistic for what's to come in the next year of his administration, and spoke about Democrats' achievements thus far, including the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure legislation.

Member Station Reports
From KUNR in Nevada

Officials in Nevada say it could be several days before mail-in ballots are counted

Posted November 9, 2022 at 4:18 PM EST
Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt speaking on Aug. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas, left, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., speaking on April 26, 2022, in Washington, right.
John Locher
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AP
Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt speaking on Aug. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas, left, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., speaking on April 26, 2022, in Washington, right.

One of the last Senate races we're waiting on is Nevada's, where the vote count remains close between incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, and her Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt.

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It will take several days to count mail-in ballots in Nevada’s two most populous counties due to there not being enough personnel in Clark County and a large number of ballots being dropped off on Election Day in Washoe County.

Washoe County’s interim registrar of voters, Jamie Rodriguez, said the office is expecting to receive about 16,000 ballots today that were mailed in and dropped off at vote centers across the county, plus about 1,000 received by mail on Monday.

➡️Keep reading

More from Nevada:
➡️ Election coverage from KUNR
➡️ Nevada election results

Member Station Reports
From KCUR in Kansas City

The Kansas State Board of Education winners hope to restrict how race and social-emotional learning are taught in school

Posted November 9, 2022 at 4:05 PM EST

School board elections — once low-key contests on the ballot — are now the stage for fierce debates over who should control curriculum and how race is taught in schools. Those issues were at the forefront of the five races on the ballot for seats on the state board of education.

➡️ Keep reading

More from Kansas:
➡️ Election coverage from KCUR
➡️ Key race results

Member Station Reports
From Nebraska Public Media

Abortion foes may have gained a filibuster-proof margin in the Nebraska Legislature

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:58 PM EST

Tuesday’s election appears to have given Republicans a 33-16 edge over Democrats in the Nebraska Legislature.

Last session, proposals backed by Republicans to ban abortion and loosen gun laws fell just two votes short of that margin.

➡️ Keep reading

More from Nebraska:
➡️Election results
➡️Election coverage from Nebraska Public Media, Omaha Public Radio


More results: Reproductive rights
➡️ Where abortion was on the ballot, midterm voters largely signaled support

Interview

How Democrats' outreach to Black voters impacted the election

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:50 PM EST
Democratic nominee for U.S Senate Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks to a reporter during a campaign stop on the campus of Morehouse College Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore
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AP
Democratic nominee for U.S Senate Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks to a reporter during a campaign stop on the campus of Morehouse College Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta.

In June 2021, Quentin James appeared on Morning Edition with a warning: Democratic support among Black men was dropping, and the party needed to significantly step up outreach efforts in order to reverse the trend.

James would know — he's the president of The Collective, a political action committee that works to get Black candidates elected. So did Democrats heed his advice and engage with voters of color more proactively?

Returning to Morning Edition on Wednesday, he says it appears so, at least in certain states (like Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina).

"I think we can say today that Black voters were engaged from the party, from the candidates, in a much better way than kind of what we were thinking it would be at this point," he says.

James points to Georgia, where Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will head to a December runoff election, and where Democrat Stacey Abrams lost her gubernatorial race. He credits Abrams with making Georgia a swing state and notes that there was lot of cross-ticket voting there and elsewhere.

He also notes some historic wins, calling Tuesday a huge night for the next generation of Black political leadership. Maryland elected Democrat Wes Moore, its first Black governor (and the third in the nation's history), while Pennsylvania elected its first Black lieutenant governor and first Black congresswoman.

"These were some tremendous wins for Black voters and Black candidates running across the country, and I think we're going to see a lot more of that coming in 2024 and in the future," he says.

Listen to the full conversation.

The new Congress will run from the Silent Generation all the way to Gen Z

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:40 PM EST
Republican Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (left) speaks during a campaign event on Nov. 3 in Sioux City, Iowa. Maxwell Frost, a Democratic candidate for Florida's 10th Congressional district, participates in the Pride Parade in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 15.
Stephen Maturen and Giorgio Viera/AFP
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Getty Images
Republican Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (left) speaks during a campaign event on Nov. 3 in Sioux City, Iowa. Maxwell Frost, a Democratic candidate for Florida's 10th Congressional district, participates in the Pride Parade in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 15.

With the election of the nation’s first Gen Z Congressman alongside the reelection of the second oldest Senator, the 2022 class of electees runs from age 25 to age 89.

Born Sept. 17, 1933, in the throes of the Great Depression, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is older than the electric guitar, canned beer and certain beloved all-American snacks.

And at the other end is Maxwell Frost, the 25-year-old newcomer who will represent the Orlando-area district vacated by Rep. Val Demings in her unsuccessful run for Senate. Frost was born Jan. 17, 1997. He is younger than dial-up internet, Nintendo 64 and the movie Space Jam (oh, and DVDs too).

Grassley has been serving in the Senate since 1981, 16 years to the month before Frost was born. With the retirement of Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Grassley will be
the longest-serving active member of Congress when the Senate convenes in January.

But Grassley still won’t be the oldest person in Congress – that honor belongs to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the longtime California Democrat, who was born three months earlier than Grassley.

Analysis

Here’s where things stand in the 2022 Midterm race for the House

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:31 PM EST

As of 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, Republicans are situated to retake control of the House of Representatives. However, Democrats put up a far greater fight than political experts had predicted, trailing by 29 seats, with 54 races still yet to be called.

Here’s a look at critical races yet to come to a close.

In Arizona, the race between Democrat Jevin Hodge, at 50.9%, and Republican David Schweikert, 49.1%, remains a toss-up with 65% of the votes in.

Three races in California remain tight, but results for all five seats have yet to cross the 50% mark, meaning the state remains a toss up as of this afternoon.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, election denier and supporter of former President Donald Trump, is currently trailing to Democrat Adam Frisch, in a race that's been predicted to end in Boebert’s favor. Frisch currently leads with 50.6% of the vote, Boebert within striking distance at 49.4%, with 93% of the votes tallied.

Democrats are leading in Nevada races for the time being, with Rep. Dina Titus ahead of her Republican opponent 50.3% to 47.4% and incumbent Democrat Susie Lee ahead of April Becker 50.4% to 49.6%, with 80% of the votes having been counted.

Republicans will likely snatch up seven House toss-up seats: Don Bacon in Nebraska, 52.2% lead; George Santos, Anthony D'Esposito, Mike Lawler, Mark Molinaro and Brandon Williams in New York, all with over 50% of the votes; and Jen Kiggans in Virginia, with 52.1%.

Just In

Republican leader of the House announced his run for Speaker

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:18 PM EST
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at an election event, early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington.
Alex Brandon
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AP
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at an election event, early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, in a letterto his caucus on Wednesday, officially announced his intention to run for Speaker of the House.

“I am running to serve as Speaker of the People’s House and humbly ask for your support,” McCarthy said in a letter obtained by NPR.

Republicans are expected to pick up enough seats to gain control of the House of Representatives, but as results continue to pour in, it’s clear they will not have the major gains they previously hoped to receive.

Even so, McCarthy, who is currently the House minority leader, was expected to run for the top House leadership position and no one is currently challenging the California congressman for the post.

The internal vote inside the GOP conference is expected next week but the full House doesn’t vote until early January at the start of the new Congress.

There are no signs of any voting systems having been compromised, U.S. official says

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:14 PM EST

The head of the agency responsible for strengthening U.S. cybersecurity and infrastructure protection says Tuesday's elections went well and is urging Americans to have patience with the rest of the process.

"We have seen no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was any way compromised in any race in the country,” Jen Easterly, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in a statement.

She credited poll workers and election officials, who have "already put in long hours and will continue to do so in the days ahead to certify the election results."

They are now working to tabulate votes, review procedures and test and audit equipment. Easterly urged Americans to be patient as that process plays out, and look to state and local election officials for the most accurate and timely information.

"It's important to remember that this thorough and deliberative process can take days or weeks, depending on state laws," she wrote. "These rigorous procedures are why the American people can have confidence in the security and integrity of the election."

As NPR has reported, the last day of voting was relatively uneventful despite widespread concerns about intimidation and disinformation.

Lincoln Project weighs in on election results

Posted November 9, 2022 at 3:03 PM EST

With control of Congress still up for grabs, Tara Setmayer, senior adviser to the Lincoln Project, a Republican political action committee, says the results that have come in so far show a "red wave did not materialize."

While Republicans could still retake control of the House, it appears that they would do so with a slimmer margin than they had hoped for and that many predicted.

Setmayer told NPR's Rachel Martin she sees the margin as a "rejection of the chaos that Republicans have brought to the table since the era of Trump."

"Although the economy was top of mind for many voters, as we saw, it was the presence of Donald Trump still dominating the party, the Dobbs decision [overturning the right to abortion], mobilizing women and younger voters, as we're seeing now in exit polls, record numbers of of younger voters Gen Zers voting for the first time in key areas, women and independents breaking toward Democrats, that has made the difference," she said.

"I think that the American people looked around and said, 'You know what, we really do not want to go back to the type of governance that we saw under the Republicans and Donald Trump.'"

She also pointed out that "candidate quality matters," echoing a similar statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about various Republican candidates like Georgia's Herschel Walker and Pennsylvania's Mehmet Oz.

Interview

Hear a Gen Z organizer's perspective on what drove young voters to the polls

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:52 PM EST

Young voters, turning out in historically high numbers, helped deliver Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020 (though not all of the group members lean liberal, of course — several first-time voters spoke with NPR about why they're supporting Republicans this election cycle).

But NPR/Marist polling ahead of the 2022 midterms found that young people were among the demographic groups least likely to head to the polls (which has been the case in many election cycles). For more details, here's a great NPR Politics podcast episode about this phenomenon, and the issues that were top of mind for engaged young voters heading into the election.

Many were focused on things like protecting democracy, safeguarding abortion access and improving the economy.

Jack Lobel, the deputy communications director for Voters of Tomorrow — an organization focused on mobilizing Gen Z voters and electing more Democrats — told NPR's Morning Edition on Wednesday that he considers Gen Z to be "uniquely connected."

"I think young voters recognize that when Roe fell it may have been the first of many rights to fall," he said. "And we are all about progress, we are about the future, we are about equity. And I think that really summarizes Gen Z."

Listen to the full conversation here.

As Lobel sees it, President Biden and the Democratic Party have shown that they can fight — and deliver — for Gen Z on a range of issues, from investing in the fight against climate change to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities to canceling large amounts of student debt and pardoning simple federal marijuana possession convictions.

Lobel says young voters already support those policies, and want to see more sustained outreach in order for Democrats to keep their momentum going through 2024. He also credits young organizers with helping usher in Democratic victories on Tuesday night — which notably included the election of Florida Democrat Maxwell Frost, who will be first Gen Z member of Congress.

"I think that Democrats are doing a lot of good things, they have a lot to show, but they need support on the showing front," Lobel explains. "That's where young organizers stepped in. We know Gen Z voters, because we are Gen Z voters."

Just In

Georgia's 2022 Midterm Senate race will be settled in a run-off election

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:41 PM EST
CNN coverage of the Georgia Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker
Michael M. Santiago
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Getty Images
Neither Sen. Raphael Warnock nor Republican challenger Herschel Walker received 50% of the vote in Georgia’s Senate election, thus triggering a run-off election.

Georgia will hold a run-off election in the race for its U.S. Senate seat.

Neither Sen. Raphael Warnock nor Republican challenger Herschel Walker received 50% of the vote in Georgia’s Senate election, thus triggering a run-off election.

This is a repeat for Warnock, who won his seat in 2021 in a special election runoff against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The runoff will be held Dec. 6.

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How some non-U.S. citizens voted in local races this year

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:28 PM EST
People fill out their ballots while voting at the Log Cabin at the Presidio in San Francisco
Jeff Chiu
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AP
People fill out their ballots while voting at the Log Cabin at the Presidio in San Francisco on Tuesday.

A few states allowed non-U.S. citizens, including green card holders and “Dreamers,” to vote in some local elections this year.

Eleven municipalities in Maryland and two cities in Vermont permitted residents who were not U.S. citizens to vote in local elections this cycle. In Vermont, superior courts in two cities dismissed attempts to block non-citizens from voting by the Republican National Committee.

The GOP filed similar lawsuits against the two cities, Montpelier and Winooski, last year. Those cases were also dismissed.

In Maryland's Takoma Park, a city near Washington, D.C., residents did not have to be a U.S. citizen to vote in elections for mayor and city council, according to the government website. Residents who were 16 years old or older on Election Day were eligible to vote in those local races.

All residents in San Francisco were eligible to vote in school board elections this cycle, regardless of citizenship status. A measure to extend school board voting rights to non-citizens of legal voting age with children younger than 19 living in San Francisco — and not in prison for a felony conviction — passed in 2016 with 54% in favor.

Similar measures to allow non-citizen voting have been proposed in Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C.

In June, a New York state supreme court judge on Staten Island struck down a law backed by Mayor Eric Adams that would have allowed more than 800,000 permanent residents without U.S. citizenship in New York City to vote in mayoral and city council elections beginning in 2023. The city has filed an appeal.

Why are these midterm results taking so long?

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:15 PM EST
A voter places her ballot in a drop off box outside the La Familia Recreation Center on Tuesday in Denver.
Michael Ciaglo
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Getty Images
A voter places her ballot in a drop off box outside the La Familia Recreation Center on Tuesday in Denver.

As the chaos of last night settles in the rearview and the cadence of election calls slows to an idle hum, you might wonder how long it’ll be until we can definitively reflect on the 2022 midterms.

Frankly, it could be weeks.

But this doesn’t mean there’s fraud.

As NPR’s Domenico Montanaro reports, “Recent years have seen a rise in mail voting, and states have different rules for when those mail ballots are due. States have different procedures for when those ballots can be taken out of their envelopes to be processed and tallied, and this can lengthen the count.”

Beyond the procedures that have gradually transformed Election Day into Election Season, razor-thin margins in key battlegrounds will also lengthen the process.

Take Georgia, for example. Neither Democratic incumbent Rafael Warnock or Republican challenger Herschel Walker seems positioned to break the 50-point threshold needed to prevent a runoff.

If that happens, the election would go to a Dec. 6 runoff, which means control of the Senate quite possibly won't be known for a month after Election Day.

Until then, patience will be our guide.

Read more from Domenico here.

Here are the Senate races we're still watching

Posted November 9, 2022 at 2:05 PM EST

Senate races in the key states of Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada have still not been called by The Associated Press.

In Georgia, if neither incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock or his Republican opponent Herschel Walker get above the 50% threshold needed for an outright victory, they'll have to face off again in a runoff election on Dec. 6. That means it could be about a month before we know which party will control the Senate.

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As of 1:50p.m. ET, 66% of the votes are estimated to have been counted in Arizona, and incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly is ahead by five percentage points against Blake Masters, the Trump-backed Republican challenger. Independent voters are a notoriously important voting bloc in the state — and who they turned out for will likely weigh heavily on the race's outcome.

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In Nevada, it's estimated that 77% of the votes have been counted, with Republican challenger Adam Laxalt ahead of incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto by roughly two percentage points. There are still many votes to count in Washoe and Clark counties.

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As NPR's Domenico Montanaro notes, Republicans were expecting to win up to 52 Senate seats, a number that now seems unlikely.

Hundreds of thousands of ballots are still uncounted, Maricopa County says

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:45 PM EST
Election workers sort ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Wednesday in Phoenix.
John Moore
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Getty Images
Election workers sort ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Wednesday in Phoenix.

If you're waiting for Maricopa County results, it's going to take a while.

“Internal estimates out of Maricopa County are that up to 500,000 ballots still need to be counted,” according to NPR’s Ximena Bustillo, adding that officials think full results won’t come until late this week.

Part of the challenge: officials say more than 200,000 ballots were dropped off at its 223 voting centers on Election Day -- and that’s 100,000 more than were dropped off in 2020, Bustillo says, citing Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer. Before they can be counted, those early ballots must have their signatures verified, the county says.

Maricopa County has been “a hive of election denialism” since 2020, as member station KJZZ’s Ben Giles reported in July. On Tuesday, the county quickly became the subject of scrutiny and conspiracy theories, after officials acknowledged that about 20% of Maricopa’s ballot tabulator machines were having problems.

The issue was later resolved, and officials sought to assure voters their ballots would still be counted, thanks to redundancy measures such as a secure drop box that’s located just below the tabulator.

With intense interest focused on Maricopa’s voting process, the county has posted nearly 20 live video feeds on its website, allowing public access to webcams trained on its drop boxes, ballot vault, and ballot processing and tabulation centers.

Member Station Reports

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has been reelected

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:33 PM EST
Incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly addresses the crowd during her watch party on Tuesday in Topeka, Kan.
Michael B. Thomas
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Getty Images
Incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly addresses the crowd during her watch party on Tuesday in Topeka, Kan.

A Democrat will continue to lead deep-red Kansas as Gov. Laura Kelly won reelection, according to a race call by The Associated Press, keeping the state on a politically moderate trajectory, despite its conservative leanings.

Kelly held off Republican challenger Derek Schmidt, the state’s attorney general.

Kelly’s victory means Democrats can block some of the more conservative bills passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature — particularly efforts to restrict abortion further. The state’s voters rejected a constitutional amendment in August that would have made a ban possible, but conservative lawmakers still could have tested just how far the state’s courts would allow regulations to make abortions more difficult to obtain in the state.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wins reelection after dispelling election lies

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:32 PM EST
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks to the media about early voting progress on Oct. 25 in Atlanta. Raffensperger won his re-election campaign.
Elijah Nouvelage
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Getty Images
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks to the media about early voting progress on Oct. 25 in Atlanta. Raffensperger won his re-election campaign.

Following his reelection as Georgia’s secretary of state, Republican Brad Raffensperger is celebrating how the voting process took place and his chance to dispel election lies from 2020 during his campaign.

Raffensperger famously stood his ground and declined when then-President Trump asked him to “find 11,780 votes” and overturn the state’s presidential election results during a January 2021 phone call.

Since then, Raffensperger said he has been “talking with people all over the state of Georgia for the last year and a half explaining about the 2020 election and then also just telling them the truth about what happened.”

He and his team have been consistent in sharing the facts of what happened, he said, even as pro-Trump candidates shared conspiracy theoriesahead of the midterm elections. While other Georgia political figures, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have made election denialism part of their platform, Raffensperger told NPRhe believes voters are looking for candidates of quality.

“I think what Americans are looking for, Georgians are looking for — they’re looking for people of character, integrity, honesty, civil discourse,” he said. “And when you have a disagreement with someone, you express yourself respectfully and then have conversations. I think people want to see the country move forward.”

Candidates who pushed false election fraud claims have seen mixed success in secretary of state races

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:20 PM EST

Secretary of state races have taken on new significance in this election cycle, with democracy experts and election officials sounding alarms about Republican candidates who publicly rejected 2020 election results and pushed false claims about widespread voter fraud.

In many states, the secretary of state is responsible for overseeing election administration.

Some election deniers have used the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen to call for stripping back measures like early voting and ballot drop boxes, as well as calling into question election security tools like the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC.

With results in so far, election-denying GOP secretary of state nominees have seen mixed success.

At least six candidates who've made false claims lost to their Democratic challengers, including in Michigan and Minnesota. It's too early to call races with prominent election deniers in Arizona and Nevada.

Republican candidate for Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales in Indianapolis on Sept. 20.
Michael Conroy
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AP
Republican candidate for Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales in Indianapolis on Sept. 20.

But here's a look at a few winning candidates who've raised alarm among democracy experts:

  1. Wes Allen, R-Ala. — Voiced support for legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
  2. Diego Morales, R-Ind. — Called the 2020 election “a scam."
  3. Chuck Gray, R-Wyo. — Called President Biden’s win in 2020 “illegitimate” on Facebook.

For full secretary of state results, head here.

Member Station Reports
KCUR in Kansas City

A firebrand conservative and onetime Trump counselor is back in office in Kansas

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:13 PM EST
Kris Kobach speaks at a rally with President Trump in 2018 in Topeka, Kan.
Scott Olson
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Kris Kobach speaks at a rally with President Trump in 2018 in Topeka, Kan.

Republican Kris Kobach — at times a key Donald Trump counselor on immigration and supposed election fraud — scored a political comeback by beating a newcomer to win his election as Kansas attorney general.

That puts the firebrand conservative back in office after losing two high-profile elections in 2018 and 2020. On Tuesday, he defeated Democrat Chris Mann, a private defense attorney and former police officer who had never run for office before.

He ran vowing to challenge federal overreach by suing Democratic President Biden and his administration with regularity.

Kobach made a national brand for himself by focusing on illegal immigration and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

➡️ Read more from KCUR

So far, right-wing election fraud conspiracies fail to gain significant traction online

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:02 PM EST
Election workers sort envelopes of ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix.
John Moore
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Getty Images
Election workers sort envelopes of ballots at the Maricopa County election center in Phoenix on Tuesday.

While voting rights organizations and research outfits have warned about virulent false narratives taking off election night and after, so far things have been quiet.

The most prominent narratives that researchers have flagged are about technical problems in Maricopa County in Arizona. Those problems prompted conservative activist Charlie Kirk to falsely claim in a tweet that “Maricopa's downtown tabulators will not count votes today.” Kirk’s tweet was retweeted almost 5,000 times.

After filtering out keywords commonly used by news media reporting on conspiracy theories, NPR has identified just over 200,000 tweets and retweets on the subject, with the most influential tweet getting nearly 60,000 interactions — which are not huge numbers for Twitter.

In a separate incident, former President Donald Trump posted on his right-wing social network Truth Social on Tuesday afternoon calling for protests in Detroit over voters allegedly being turned away at polling places.

Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state, who was reelected Tuesday, refuted Trump’s claim — and election-related protests did not occur in Detroit on Tuesday. The overall count of tweets on the subject remains in the thousands as of this morning. The most influential tweet came from Republican secretary of state nominee Kristina Karamo, which just garnered under 9,000 interactions.

Election watchers say concessions by candidates in some races are making it harder for bad actors to try to spread disinformation claiming election interference.

Emma Steiner, a disinformation analyst with the government watchdog group Common Cause, says election deniers are scrambling to find effective narratives for spreading disinformation about the midterm elections.

"Because [GOP] candidates like Dr. [Mehmet] Oz in Pennsylvania and Tudor Dixon in Michigan have already conceded, that makes it a little more difficult for supporters to push claims of election fraud," Steiner told reporters Wednesday.

NPR will continue to monitor the spread of conspiracies as votes are still being counted for contentious races in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang contributed reporting.

Race Result

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has won the Senate race in Wisconsin

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:54 PM EST
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to his supporters during an election night party on Tuesday in Neenah, Wis.
Chip Somodevilla
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Getty Images
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to his supporters during an election night party on Tuesday in Neenah, Wis.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has won the Senate race in Wisconsin, according to a race call from The Associated Press.

Johnson, who was first elected in 2010, defeated Democrat Mandela Barnes, the state’s lieutenant governor. Johnson had led in polls since late September, and made crime a central issue of the campaign, accusing him of wanting to defund the police, which Barnes has denied. Barnes has been critical of Johnson’s anti-abortion view.

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Biden plans a press conference on Democrats' better-than-predicted election results

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:52 PM EST

President Biden will hold a news conference today at 4 p.m. ET to discuss the Democratic Party’s better-than-expected performance in the midterms, the White House announced.

Although the Democrats are expected to lose the House narrowly, control of the Senate is still in the balance. Typically, the president’s party suffers major losses in the midterms. The Democrats appeared to have defied that precedent.

It's been a long time since Biden held a formal press conference at the White House: The last one was in January, when he held forth for nearly two hours — an uncommonly lengthy stretch.

He has since held solo press conferences abroad — and several short bilateral press conferences with foreign leaders after meetings with them. The White House has pointed to less formal exchanges, noting Biden frequently takes questions from reporters both after events at the White House and on the road.

In his first year in office, Biden held nine press conferences, but had 166 exchanges with reporters, according to data from the American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara. By comparison, former President Barack Obama had three times as many press conferences in his first year, but only 47 exchanges with reporters.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's loss is a stinging defeat for the Democrats

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:46 PM EST
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, speaks during a news conference shortly after conceding to opponent Mike Lawler at the DCCC on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Silbiger
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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, speaks during a news conference shortly after conceding to opponent Mike Lawler at the DCCC on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney ran the House Democrats’ campaign operation as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But he has conceded his own race for reelection in a stinging defeat for the party.

He said Wednesday morning that he has congratulated his opponent, state Assemblyman Mike Lawler, on his victory in New York’s 17th District. “I pledged my support to him in transitioning this congressional seat so the people we serve in the Hudson Valley don’t have any interruption in the service they deserve,” he told reporters in a somber tone.

Maloney’s Republican counterpart, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer, touted the result as a “historic victory.”

“Mike is the first candidate to defeat a DCCC Chair since 1980 because he kept the Hudson Valley at the center of his campaign,” Emmer said in a statement.

Despite Maloney’s own narrow loss, he told reporters that he is proud of the Democrats' performance. It's not clear which party will have control of the House. Republican control appears likely, with fewer gains than the party hoped for.

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“Last night, House Democrats stood our ground. And we believe Nov. 8, 2022 will be a signature day in American political history,” he said. “And we hope the high water mark of some of the anger and the division that we have dealt with this entire cycle from January 6 on through.”

Maloney’s district has been redrawn since his last campaign — and was a major Republican target in this electoral cycle. A super PAC aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly poured $4 million in ads into the race during its final weeks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Maloney in a statement after his loss, calling him an “outstanding leader of the DCCC.” She said that “House Democrats have exceeded expectations.”

“Republicans may have gained a Pyrrhic victory with this race,” Pelosi added, “because it has clearly come at the expense of other possible Republican wins.”

Member Station Reports
Iowa Public Radio

Iowa is looking like a clean sweep for the GOP

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:38 PM EST
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks at a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12 in Washington, D.C.
Anna Moneymaker
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Getty Images
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks at a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12 in Washington, D.C.

Republican Chuck Grassley has been reelected to the U.S. Senate for an eighth term, defeating Democrat Michael Franken by the smallest margin of victory in any of his reelection bids. Grassley, 89, will be the longest-serving senator in the next Congress.

Republican Kim Reynolds was also reelected as Iowa's governor. She campaigned on her actions to cut taxes, ban mask and COVID vaccine mandates in schools and ban transgender women and girls from competing in women’s and girls’ sports.

All eyes are now turned to the state auditor race. The GOP candidate leads by just shy of 3,200 votes with 98% of votes counted. There are three counties with technical issues completing hand recounts, but none of them are huge population centers.

➡️ Follow Iowa Public Radio for more results

Member Station Reports
Wisconsin Public Radio

Tony Evers' Wisconsin victory is significant for what it will prevent

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:28 PM EST
Supporters react during an election night event for Gov. Tony Evers at The Orpheum Theater on Tuesday in Madison, Wis. Democratic incumbent Gov. Evers defeated Republican challenger Tim Michels.
Jim Vondruska
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Supporters react during an election night event for Gov. Tony Evers at The Orpheum Theater on Tuesday in Madison, Wis. Democratic incumbent Gov. Evers defeated Republican challenger Tim Michels.

Tony Evers' reelection as Wisconsin's governor represents a massive win for Democrats in an election cycle where they faced significant political headwinds. Typically, when one party controls both the White House and Congress, Wisconsin elections swing in the other direction. Evers' victory bucks that trend.

But Evers' victory is significant not so much for what it will let Democrats accomplish, but for what it will help them prevent. During the last two-year session of the legislature, Evers vetoed 126 Republican bills, breaking a nearly century-old record.

Had Republican challenger Tim Michels won, he said he would have signed around 20 bills Evers vetoed that would have changed Wisconsin's election laws, making it more difficult to vote absentee. Michels had also promised to abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission, raising the prospect that he could replace the bipartisan agency with a board controlled by Republicans.

➡️ Read more from Wisconsin Public Radio

Trump loomed large in 2022. But did he help or hurt?

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:20 PM EST
Former president Donald Trump attends an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday in Palm Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle
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Former president Donald Trump attends an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday in Palm Beach, Fla.

Former President Donald Trump wasn't on the ballot last night. But with his presence weighing heavily on elections throughout the country, Republican candidates — including several Trump-backed candidates — underperformed in most places.

Despite the headwinds of inflation and poor approval polls for Biden, Democrats wound up narrowly winning with independents, according to exit polls.

Now, Republicans are already asking: Why?

"The Republican Party has problems with independent voters who are waiting to see if this party will move on from Donald Trump," Scott Jennings, a Republican who worked in the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview on NPR Wednesday morning. "As I look at it, that's the first thing I see."

Votes are still being counted, and the final results for the House and Senate won't be known for days.

But the underperformance in the House, and the lackluster performance of Trump-backed candidates in purple states — like celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz, who lost to Pennsylvania's Senate race, and Herschel Walker, who is currently trailing in Georgia's U.S. Senate race — may have a lot of Republicans, especially GOP professionals, wondering if continuing to be wedded to Trumpism is still what's best for them in purple states.

"A lot of GOP strategists and insiders today are saying things like, 'We have a Trump problem,'" Jennings said.

Florida's results could show an alternate path for Republicans: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis's 20-point reelection victory was so resounding that he was declared the winner right when polls closed. And Republicans overperformed there compared to the rest of the country.

On the national stage, Republicans have flirted with nominating an alternative to Trump, and the name who continues to be on the tips of Republicans' lips is DeSantis.

For his part, Trump clearly sees DeSantis as a threat. It might be why he is again suggesting he will announce for president soon to put a hold on the nomination as soon as possible. He has started criticizing DeSantis at his rallies. And hours before polls opened on Election Day, Trump reportedly seemed to threaten DeSantis, telling reporters that if his rival ran for president in 2024, Trump would "tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering."

"He showed the way," Jennings said of DeSantis. "As he thinks about starting a primary against Trump, to me, he had a big springboard last night and a great argument to make to Republicans."

Read more election night takeaways here.

FROM NPR'S NEWSCAST

Biden congratulates Democrats after the party exceeded predictions

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:06 PM EST
President Biden
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
President Biden speaks during a rally for gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md., on Monday.

President Biden is extending his congratulations to a number of Democrats who won their races in yesterday's midterms. The party did better than many analysts had predicted, as NPR's Windsor Johnston reports:

Biden posted a photo of himself on Twitter happily congratulating some of the Democratic winners by phone. Even though it's still too early to determine which party will take control of Congress, Democrats were able to flip Pennsylvania's open Senate seat. Ballots are still being counted in Senate races in Nevada, Wisconsin and Arizona.

In Georgia, Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Hershel Walker have yet to surpass the 50% threshold to win the seat. If that remains the case, the two candidates will head to a runoff election on Dec. 6.

On the House side, Virginia Democratic incumbents Jennifer Wexton and Abigail Spanberger won the state's 10th and 7th congressional districts, But the newly redrawn 2nd District is changing to Republican.

➡️ Live results for the Senate races

Alabama ratifies state constitution that removes racist language

Posted November 9, 2022 at 11:52 AM EST
Alabama voters have ratified a recompiled Alabama Constitution that strips racist language and deleted repealed and redundant sections. A copy of the proposed constitution is seen at the statehouse in Montgomery, Ala.
Kim Chandler/AP
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AP
Alabama voters have ratified a recompiled Alabama Constitution that strips racist language and deleted repealed and redundant sections. A copy of the proposed constitution is seen at the statehouse in Montgomery, Ala.

Alabama voters overwhelmingly ratified a revamped constitution on Tuesday, endorsing the removal of racist language that had been codified in the state’s governing document since at least 1901. The changes also include a provision outlawing slavery.

Roughly 76.5% of voters endorsed the change, with about 23.5% opposed.

Advocates have been calling for a massive overhaul of Alabama’s constitution for decades, citing problems from its embrace of racist policies and white supremacy to its unwieldy length: It’s been amended nearly 1,000 times.

Back in 2009, NPR described Alabama’s constitution as being “40 times longer than the U.S. Constitution.” It’s been said to be the longest governing document on Earth.

Alabama’s official ballot statement refers to the new version as a “reorganized” constitution; it's also been called "recompiled." That’s because rather than crafting a new document from scratch, a bipartisan panel identified several things it could do to improve the existing text, from removing racist language to deleting repealed or redundant items and grouping amendments together if they deal with local matters or economic development.

“If that’s the most that we’re able to do, then that strikes me [as] at least one positive step,” Joshua Rothman, chair of the history department at the University of Alabama, told Alabama Public Radio.

In Alabama, the massive number of amendments have been necessary because the state’s 1901 constitution stripped home rule away from local communities, forcing counties to change the constitution for mundane items, like holding a bingo night in a town in Lowndes County.

The reorganized document is shorter than the 1901 version, as it trims down from 420,000 words to 373,274 words, according to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. That still requires two volumes and is by far the longest constitution in the U.S., the group adds.

Member Station Reports
St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri legalizes recreational marijuana

Posted November 9, 2022 at 11:31 AM EST
Jeremy Baldwin tags young cannabis plants at a marijuana farm operated by Greenlight, in Grandview, Mo.
Charlie Riedel
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AP
Jeremy Baldwin tags young cannabis plants at a marijuana farm operated by Greenlight, in Grandview, Mo.

Adults in Missouri will soon be able to legally use marijuana recreationally.

Voters approved Amendment 3, known as Legal Missouri 2022. The amendment earned 53% of the vote in support. The decision on Amendment 3 comes four years after Missouri legalized the use of medical marijuana with 65% of the vote.

Under the amendment, nonmedical users will be able to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana, while medical patients could possess up to 6 ounces. In addition to imposing possession limits, the measure allows fines to still be issued for smoking in public.

Voters in five states, including four that are among the most conservative in the country, had marijuana legalization on the ballot.

➡️ Read more from St. Louis Public Radio

FROM NPR'S NEWSCAST

Arizona's key races have yet to be called

Posted November 9, 2022 at 11:12 AM EST
An adjudication board reviews ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix.
John Moore
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An adjudication board reviews ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix.

Arizona voters finished voting on Tuesday evening for a slate of candidates that includes governor, senator and secretary of state. However, statewide Arizona races have yet to be called. NPR's Ximena Bustillo has more from Phoenix:

Speaking in front of a large cheering crowd on Tuesday night, GOP candidate for governor Kari Lake told voters she believed results in her favor could come down in a few hours on election night.

"When we win, and I think it will be within hours, I think it will be within hours, we will declare victory and we will declare victory and we will get to work turning this around," she said. "No more incompetency and no more corruption in Arizona elections."

But election officials and other candidates from both parties have previously argued that final counts may take days.

Eyes are on Maricopa County, which represents the largest share of registered voters in the state and a slate of independent and moderate voters that could determine the results.

➡️ Key election results from Arizona

ICYMI

McCarthy celebrates a plausible House flip, saying America is ready for a 'new direction'

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:58 AM EST
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) delivers remarks to supporters alongside Ronna Romney McDaniel, Republican National Committee chair at a watch party on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Republicans are hoping to take control of the House of Representatives away from Democrats.
Sarah Silbiger
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House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) delivers remarks to supporters alongside Ronna Romney McDaniel, Republican National Committee chair at a watch party on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Republicans are hoping to take control of the House of Representatives away from Democrats.

With 64 races in the House of Representatives yet to be called, it's looking likely that the chamber will flip into GOP control, but with fewer net gains than they were expecting.

Speaking in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy still struck a triumphant tone, laying out his vision as the probable next speaker of the House.

"The American people are ready for a majority that will offer a new direction, that will put America back on track. Republicans are ready to deliver," McCarthy said.

"It's a new direction towards an economy that is strong, where you can fill up your tank, feed your family where your paychecks grow and not shrink, a new direction towards a nation that is safe, where communities are protected."

Current Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement around 1:30 a.m. ET reminding readers that votes were still being counted but Democratic House candidates were "strongly outperforming expectations across the country."

"As states continue to tabulate the final results, every vote must be counted as cast," she wrote. "Many thanks to our grassroots volunteers for enabling every voter to have their say in our Democracy."

Race Result

Mich. Democrat Jocelyn Benson wins secretary of state in key race for election integrity

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:47 AM EST
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson,
Carlos Osorio
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AP
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, attends an Election Night party on Tuesday in Detroit.

In Michigan, incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has fended off a Trump-backed election denier, according to a race call by The Associated Press.

Benson beat Kristina Karamo, a community college professor who rose to prominence after falsely claiming she saw election fraud in Detroit in the last presidential race.

Read more here

FROM NPR'S NEWSCAST

Police are guarding the Maricopa County elections office as vote counting continues

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:44 AM EST
Law enforcement officers close off the entrance to the Maricopa County Recorders Office on Tuesday in Phoenix.
Matt York
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AP
Law enforcement officers close off the entrance to the Maricopa County Recorders Office on Tuesday in Phoenix.

In Phoenix, security is tight and there's a large police presence protecting the Maricopa County elections office where vote counting continues. Arizona's largest county continues to be the epicenter for unfounded conspiracy theories about election fraud. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports:

There's a huge law enforcement presence around the Maricopa voting center, where police are patrolling by air, on horseback and foot. A newly built black security fence surrounds the building itself like a fortress.

Inside, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chair Bill Gates, a Republican, spent part of Election Day pushing back against conspiracy theories after some voting machines in Phoenix temporarily rejected ballots. The issue was quickly resolved, he said. 

"This isn't about partisan politics," he said. "It's not about conservative versus liberal. It's about truth versus lies."

Gates has received numerous death threats here since the 2020 presidential election.

➡️ Key election results from Arizona

In Kentucky and other states, voters supported abortion rights

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:30 AM EST
Counter-protestors gather in front of a rally encouraging voters to vote yes on Amendment 2, which would add a permanent abortion ban to Kentuckys state constitution, on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., on Oct. 1.
Stefani Reynolds
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AFP via Getty Images
Counter-protestors gather in front of a rally encouraging voters to vote yes on Amendment 2, which would add a permanent abortion ban to Kentuckys state constitution, on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., on Oct. 1.

Voters in several states where abortion was on the ballot were generally favorable to abortion rights.

Vermont became the first state in the country to amend its constitution to protect "reproductive autonomy," after a large majority of voters cast ballots in favor of it, as widely expected. Abortion already was protected under a state law passed in 2019, but the amendment further shores up those rights by adding protections to the state constitution.

As anticipated, California voters approved a similar measure protecting the right to abortion.

In one of the most-watched ballot measures on the issue, Michigan residents also voted to amend their state's constitution to protect abortion rights. The initiative appeared on the ballot after surviving a Republican-led challenge on grounds that included concerns about the amendment's spacing and formatting.

In a move that could aid efforts by abortion rights groups to overturn two abortion bans, Kentucky voters rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have explicitly stated it contains no right to an abortion. Such an amendment likely would have thwarted efforts to overturn Kentucky's two abortion bans.

In Montana, votes were still being counted on what anti-abortion-rights groups describe as a "Born Alive" measure that would require healthcare providers to treat infants born alive at any stage of development, including after an attempted abortion. Reproductive rights groups, who opposed the initiative, noted that Montana law already prohibits infanticide.

Member Station Reports
WESA in Pittsburgh

Summer Lee will become Pennsylvania's first Black congresswoman

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:27 AM EST
Pennsylvania State Rep. Summer Lee will be the state's first Black congresswoman.
Rebecca Droke
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AP
State Rep. Summer Lee

State Rep. Summer Lee has been elected to represent Pennsylvania’s 12th District in the House. She will be the state's first Black congresswoman.

“Our communities have been waiting far, far too long for this,” Lee said of her historic win. “This is victory, not just for me but for each and every one of us.”

Republican Mike Doyle conceded shortly before midnight.

Lee was joined Tuesday evening by a small crowd of supporters, family, politicians and community organizers in downtown Pittsburgh. Lee stressed that her win was about a larger progressive movement in southwestern Pennsylvania, and she said she had many organizers to thank for the night.

➡️ Read more from WESA
➡️ Key election results from Pennsylvania

Member Station Reports
WUSF

DeSantis' win fuels speculation of a potential presidential run

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:15 AM EST

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is celebrating a landslide reelection win as the former swing state continues its shift to the right. But his victory comes amid growing speculation that DeSantis may have ambitions beyond the Sunshine State. Stephanie Colombini with member station WUSF reports:

DeSantis told supporters at his victory party in Tampa that he's "only begun to fight" and called Florida "the promised land" for Americans dissatisfied by federal leadership and what he called "leftist politicians" in other parts of the country.

"We have embraced freedom, we have maintained law and order, we have protected the rights of parents, we have respected our taxpayers, and we reject woke ideology," he said to a cheering crowd.

Much of DeSantis' bid for reelection has been overshadowed by talk of a potential presidential run in 2024. It's still unclear what his plans are for the future.

➡️ 6 takeaways from the 2022 midterm election that's not over yet

Analysis

Democrats appear to slip again with Latino voters

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:58 AM EST

Despite a decent night for Democrats overall, the party again struggled to energize Latino voters, who have long been a key portion of their base.

Exit polls showed Democrats won about 6 in 10 Latinos overall. That's down from 65% in 2020, which was already considered a slip from 2018, when the party won closer to 7 in 10.

But it's important to remember that Latino voters are not a monolith. Much of the shift to Republicans has come from Latinos of Cuban and Venezuelan descent, who have grown far more Republican-leaning.

That's the group who likely helped propel DeSantis and Rubio to their big wins in Florida. Both candidates won by double digits in Miami-Dade County, a place that used to be a Democratic stronghold. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the county by 29 points. It shifted more Republican in 2020 with Biden only winning it by 7, and that raised eyebrows about how Democrats were doing with this cross section of Latinos.

In Texas, Democratic candidates appeared to hold relatively steady after Democrats' disastrous 2020 election there, when multiple Rio Grande counties shifted toward the GOP. In this year's Texas gubernatorial race, Democrat Beto O'Rourke lost to incumbent Republican Greg Abbott but was able to pull in similar margins as Biden in two of the state's largest border counties -– Hidalgo and Webb.

In Arizona and Nevada, it was also unclear whether there was a significant change from 2020. The exit polls put the margin for Latinos in Arizona down slightly for Democrat Mark Kelly from 2020, but up slightly for Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada. Those numbers could change as they are weighted to the final results.

The book is still out on this, but it's safe to say that Republicans are making a genuine play for Latinos, they say, on the economy, crime and progressive policies. Black voters and younger voters appeared to turn out as similar shares of the electorate and margins as in past midterm elections.

Read more election night takeaways here.

from NPR newscast

Several governors from both parties won reelection

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:45 AM EST
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech on Tuesday in Tampa and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul waves during an election night event in New York City.
Octavio Jones and Timothy A. Clary/AFP
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Getty Images
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech on Tuesday in Tampa and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul waves during an election night event in New York City.

Brian Kemp was reelected governor of Georgia. The Republican defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams in a rematch of their 2018 contest.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also won reelection. He defeated Democrat Charlie Crist, a former governor.

DeSantis opposed requiring people to wear masks and mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations during the pandemic. He spoke to supporters last night in Tampa.

"After four years, the people have delivered their verdict," he said. "Freedom is here to stay."

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott was reelected to a third term. He defeated Democratic former congressman Beto O'Rourke.

In Wisconsin, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers won another term in office, as did Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, was elected to her first full term in office.

➡️ Follow along for live results for the House and Senate races

Georgia sees record turnout

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:30 AM EST
Voters arrive to their local polling location to cast their ballots on Tuesday in Atlanta.
Megan Varner
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Voters arrive to their local polling location to cast their ballots on Tuesday in Atlanta.

Georgia election officials say that voting has run smoothly in the southern battleground state. Not only have voters broken midterm voting records, casting more than 2.5 million in-person and absentee ballots before the last day of voting, by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, election officials said the average wait time was just two minutes.

As WABE’s Susanna Capelouto reports, Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer in the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, likened the day’s course to that of a plane taking flight.

“Your biggest risk is at the beginning of the day,” he explained. “We got through that and now we're kind of at a cruising altitude”

Sterling credits the state’s counties for such a seamless take-off. He also says they’ll be critical for landing.

“The next biggest risk is at the end of the day when we're closing those things out,” he continued.

According to Sterling, moving quickly will be important to counter claims of misinformation. This is why election officials are being asked to report their numbers as they come.

“The other thing we've asked counties to do is not wait until they have big chunks before they put them into the system,” Sterling said. That way, “we can knock down some of these conspiracy theories.”

➡️ Here are the key election results from Georgia

Wes Moore says his historic win to become Maryland's first Black governor is humbling

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:25 AM EST
Democrat Wes Moore addresses supporters after defeating Republican Dan Cox in the Maryland gubernatorial race. Moore will make history as the state's first Black governor.
Rob Carr
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Getty Images
Democrat Wes Moore addresses supporters after defeating Republican Dan Cox in the Maryland gubernatorial race. Moore will make history as the state's first Black governor.

Maryland voters elected Wes Moore to be the state’s first Black governor. Moore, a Democrat, defeated his opponent and flipped the gubernatorial seat that has been held by Republican Larry Hogan since 2015.

Hogan was popular but not able to run for reelection after hitting his term limit.

Moore suggested his victory shows that both Democrats and Republicans can move past party politics to make progress in Maryland.

“I think Marylanders are ready for the idea that we can actually unify around issues and not around partisan identification,” Moore told NPR.

As for the historic nature of his win, Moore said it’s humbling, but that he didn’t run to make history.

“Maryland does have a very complicated history with the issue of race … but I also know that’s not the reason that I ran,” Moore said. “We ran because we have real core issues that we want to address. We want to make child poverty history, we want to make the wealth gap history, we want to make economic and educational disparity history.”

“I know the shoulders that I stand on, but I think the assignment is that we have to go out there right now and do the job and do the work.”

Moore, 43, is an author and was most recently the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a national anti-poverty organization.

Rep. Lauren Boebert is trailing in a race that's coming down to the wire

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:10 AM EST
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) arrives for a news conference with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill on Sept. 15.
Drew Angerer
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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) arrives for a news conference with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in September.

One of the most-watched races the morning after Election Day is Rep. Lauren Boebert’s reelection bid — which is under serious threat from challenger Adam Frisch.

Frisch held a slight lead over Boebert for much of Tuesday night; as of Wednesday morning, he enjoyed a razor-thin edge of 50.59% to 49.41%, according to Colorado’s elections website. By midday, the margin had slimmed even further, with Frisch holding 50.41% to Boebert’s 49.59%.

Boebert has been one of the loudest Republican voices amplifying former President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud, as well as supporting QAnon conspiracy theories. On Election Day, she was one of many Republicans predicting a "red wave" of GOP wins. But late on election night, Boebert prayed with her supporters and said she's hoping to get a boost from in-person voting.

Frisch, viewed as a centrist, previously served on the Aspen City Council. Faced with an opponent with strong name recognition and a penchant for outlandish remarks, Frisch built “a coalition of normal,” Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll tells member station Colorado Public Radio.

“He has specifically courted all normal Republicans” in the district, courted independent voters and shored up his base, Carroll said.

Early in her congressional tenure, Boebert drew criticism for insisting she would carry a gun in the Capitol, even after the building came under violent attack. This summer, Boebert’s stance on a central U.S. tenet was called into question after she stated, “I am tired of this separation of church and state junk."

In Michigan, a resounding set of victories for Democrats

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:57 AM EST
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II (left) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrate during an election night watch party on Wednesday in Detroit.
Brandon Bell
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Getty Images
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II (left) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrate during an election night watch party on Wednesday in Detroit.

Michigan voters passed ballot measures expanding abortion rights and voting access. For governor, they reelected their Democratic incumbent and rejected a 2020 election denier. And for the first time in 40 years, both chambers of the state legislature will be controlled by Democrats.

For Democrats in Michigan, Election Day could hardly have gone better.

The issue of abortion had loomed large in Michigan this election cycle, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade gave new life to a long-dormant 1931 state abortion ban.

A ballot measure seeking to enshrine various reproductive access rights in the state constitution — including decisions “about all matters relating to pregnancy” — passed easily, with an 11-point margin with 85% of the votes in.

The race for governor had pitted Whitmer against the anti-abortion Republican candidate Tudor Dixon, a Trump endorsee who had major financial support from Michigan’s wealthy and influential DeVos family. Tudor had falsely claimed that Trump won Michigan in 2020, when in fact he lost by more than 150,000 votes.

As governor, Whitmer went to court to fight enforcement of the old abortion ban (which is currently not in effect). And on the campaign trail, she promised to veto abortion restrictions if Republicans were able to win control of the state legislature.

But in the end, not only will Whitmer serve a second term, but she will do so with the backing of a Democrat-controlled state legislature — the first time in decades for the Michigan Democratic party.

“We will make Michigan a leader, a place where every person is respected and protected under the law, a place where women make their own decisions,” Whitmer said.

And the state will send at least six Democrats to Congress, including in several closely watched races. In the redrawn 7th District, Rep. Elissa Slotkin won a tough reelection campaign. In West Michigan’s 3rd District, where a former Trump administration official had ousted moderate Republican Rep. Peter Meijer in the primary, voters chose the Democratic candidate Hillary Scholten.

As of Tuesday morning, two other competitive House races were still too close to call. In the 8th District, home to Flint, the vulnerable Democrat incumbent Rep. Dan Kildee had a seven-point lead with 92% of votes counted. In the 10th District, which was rated “Likely Republican” by the Cook Political Report, Republican John James led by just half a percent with 99% of the votes counted.

Member Station Reports
Georgia Public Broadcasting

Georgia's Senate race is still too close to call

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:30 AM EST
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock (left) gives a speech at his election night party in Atlanta and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters in Kennesaw, Ga., on Monday.
Michael M. Santiago and Seth Herald/AFP
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Getty Images
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock (left) gives a speech at his election night party in Atlanta and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters in Kennesaw, Ga., on Monday.

Georgia's Senate race is still not determined. As Georgia Public Broadcasting's Stephen Fowler reports, a December runoff is likely:

There are still votes to be counted, but incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are both under the 50%-plus-one vote needed to win outright.

"We are not sure if this journey is over tonight, or if there's still a little work yet to do," Warnock said.

Warnock narrowly leads Walker and is close to that 50% threshold, but the ballots left to be counted likely won't put him over the top.

That means a Dec. 6 runoff with a shorter early vote and absentee voting period. And this race could once again decide who controls the U.S. Senate, since races in other states remain close, too.

➡️ Key election results from Georgia

Meet some of Tuesday's history-making winners

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:14 AM EST
Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey speaks during a Democratic election night party in Boston. She is the first elected female governor in Massachusetts and the nation's first openly lesbian governor.
Michael Dwyer
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AP
Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey speaks during a Democratic election night party in Boston. She is the first elected female governor in Massachusetts and the nation's first openly lesbian governor.

While the results aren't all in yet, some of the races that have been called already include some notable wins.

LGBTQ representation

It was a big night for several LGBTQ candidates. Maura Healey was elected the governor of Massachusetts, becoming the first woman to hold that position and the nation's first openly lesbian governor-elect.

Democrat Tina Kotek of Oregon, also openly lesbian, is leading in her race for governor.

And New Hampshire, James Roesener became the first openly trans man to win election to a state legislature in U.S. history.

Racial diversity

Aruna Miller and Wes Moore of Maryland
Julio Cortez
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AP
Democrats Aruna Miller (left) and Wes Moore react during an election night gathering after Miller was declared the winner in the race for the Maryland lieutenant governor and Moore was declared the winner in the gubernatorial race in Baltimore.

Democrat Wes Moore made history as Maryland's first Black governor, and only the third Black governor elected in U.S. history. Also in Maryland, Aruna Miller became the first Indian American elected lieutenant governor, and Rep. Anthony Brown is the first Black candidate elected as the state attorney general.

Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma won the special election to succeed Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is retiring in January. Mullin, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, will become the first Native American senator from Oklahoma in nearly a century, and the only Native American to serve in the U.S. Senate since Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R.-CO) retired in 2005.

And Rep. Summer Lee, a Democrat, became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.

Female firsts

Several states are elected female lawmakers and governors for the first time.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the first female governor of Arkansas. Vermont became the last state to send a woman to Congress after Democratic State Sen. Becca Balint won the state's lone seat in the House of Representatives.

Katie Britt became the first woman to win election to the U.S. Senate from Alabama and the first Republican woman to hold one of the state's Senate seats. And New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced Andrew Cuomo when he resigned in 2021, was elected to a full term — becoming New York's first elected female governor.

Gen Z heads to Congress

Maxwell Frost won his race in Florida's 10th District, becoming the first member of Generation Z to be elected to the House of Representatives. He is 25 years old, which is the minimum age to be a House member.

He's not the only member of his generation on the ballot this midterm season.

Republican Karoline Leavitt, 25 — who would have been the youngest woman ever elected to the House — lost her race in New Hampshire's 1st District.

How ballot measures on slavery and involuntary servitude fared in five states

Updated November 9, 2022 at 8:53 PM EST
Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:40 AM EST
A poll worker stands at the entrance waiting for voters on Election Day at the Martin Luther King Elementary School in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/AP
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AP
Louisiana is the only state that rejected a ballot initiative banning slavery in Tuesday's election. Here, a poll worker waits for voters on Election Day at the Martin Luther King Elementary School in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

Voters in five states weighed ballot measures banning slavery in all circumstances in the 2022 elections: Vermont, Oregon, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee. Of that group, Louisiana is the only state that rejected the change — but before Election Day, the measure's sponsor had already withdrawn his support for it, after it underwent changes that he said threatened to do the reverse of what he intended.

The Louisiana vote was roughly 61% to 39%, as of early Tuesday. On the ballot, the proposed amendment’s title didn’t use the term “slavery.” Instead, it referred to “involuntary servitude.” The final language also would have provided an exception for “the otherwise lawful administration of criminal justice.”

State Rep. Edmond Jordan, who first proposed the change, had said, “involuntary servitude, in this case, is just a sanitized version of slavery,” as member station WRKF reported. But after his proposal was revised, he urged people to vote against it.

Opponents of Louisiana's slavery proposal had warned it would threaten the state’s ability to compel prisoners to serve their time “at hard labor.” As WRKF noted, “Inmate labor is ubiquitous in the Louisiana criminal justice system.”

"Jordan said the way that his proposal was tweaked would actually broaden the state's authority to use involuntary servitude — not limit it," Capitol Access reporter Paul Braun said on WRKF last month. If voters approved the measure, Braun added, Jordan planned to file another proposal next year to fix it.

The U.S. officially abolished slavery with the 13th Amendment — but it also has an exception allowing slavery as "punishment for crime." Many state constitutions also include that exception, and advocates have been pushing to change that. Systems of involuntary servitude for prisoners, they say, is equivalent to slavery.

Republicans underperformed in the House

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:32 AM EST
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Holds Election Night Watch Party In Washington, D.C.
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House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) delivers remarks to supporters during a watch party during the early hours on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

There's still a lot we don't know, but one thing we do know is that Republicans did not have the night they were hoping for. The House still looks like it's headed for GOP hands, but not by a huge margin.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke at almost 2 a.m. ET and tried to set the narrative. "It is clear that we are going to take the House back," McCarthy said. He pointed to diverse GOP candidates across the country and claimed that it was evidence of an expanding GOP tent. "When you wake up tomorrow we will be in the majority — Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority," McCarthy added.

Democrats would still be in control of the House until January when the next Congress is sworn in, but Republicans would be in charge in the new year and for at least the next two years. They'll be able to blunt Biden's agenda and not much will likely happen in Washington legislatively.

And it's true that Republicans this year did put up a lot of diverse candidates relative to previous election cycles. More Republican women ran for the House and Senate this year than 2020, for example.

Read here for more takeaways from an election night that isn't over yet.

Despite fears, voting on Tuesday was actually pretty uneventful

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:07 AM EST
BEDFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE - NOVEMBER 08: People fill out their ballots at Bedford High School on November 08, 2022 in Bedford, New Hampshire. After months of candidates campaigning, Americans are voting in the midterm elections to decide close races across the nation. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
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People fill out their ballots in New Hampshire.

Despite concerns of Election Day violence and the ever-present threat of election disinformation, it seems that Tuesday's proceedings went relatively smoothly.

NPR's Miles Parks, who covers voting and election security, brought us this update in the early hours of Wednesday morning:

"... Voting on Election Day seems to have gone off without any major incidents," he writes. "That is — no incidents that rise above the normal snafus and mistakes that come with every major federal election."

The most high-profile issue happened in Maricopa County, Ariz., where a printer issue rendered nearly 20% of ballots unusable for part of the day, though officials fixed the problem within hours and said the ballot count was never at risk due to redundancy measures.

A man was arrested for bringing a knife into a polling place in Wisconsin, and a ballot paper shortage in Luzerne County, Pa., prompted a judge to extend voting hours there. The Michigan secretary of state's office heard reports about two disruptive election challengers, both of whom left polling places without incident.

Federal cybersecurity officials said they saw no indications of foreign election interference aimed at voting infrastructure, but were monitoring a series of cyber attacks that briefly took some Mississippi state websites offline, Parks says. He adds:

"Now, the focus nationally will turn to vote-counting, which is expected to take days in some places like Pennsylvania, where, due to state law, clerks were unable to start processing mail ballots until Tuesday morning."

Tune into 'Morning Edition' for more updates and analysis

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:05 AM EST

Voting may be over, but the 2022 midterms aren't.

There's a lot we still don't know — not just the outcomes of certain races (some of which could take a while), but also the significance of the ones that have already been called.

You can stay up-to-date with the latest developments — from breaking news to newsmaker interviews to expert analysis — on NPR's Morning Edition, the daily weekday radio show that airs starting at 5 a.m. ET. You can also keep scrolling on this live blog, which will be updated constantly throughout the day.

To listen, just find your local NPR station, download the NPR One app or visit npr.org. You can also follow Morning Edition on Twitter.

Race Result
ICYMI

Here's what we know, what we're waiting on, and what we won't know for a while

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:51 AM EST
Election workers sort envelopes of ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix.
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Election workers sort envelopes of ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Tuesday in Phoenix.

Yesterday, senior political editor Domenico Montanaro shared an hour-by-hour look at races to watch.

It's a new day; here's where we stand:

Called it

✔️ Senate races, including John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, Mike Lee in Utah and Ted Budd in North Carolina.
✔️ 316 House races, including Vermont's first women in Congress and the first Gen Z'er.
✔️ Governor's races including incumbentGretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantos securing a second term, Sarah Huckabee Sanders' win in Arkansas, incumbent Ned LaMont in Connecticut, incumbent Tony Evers in Wisconsin and historic wins in Maryland and Massachusetts.

TBD

7 Senate seats including in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin.
119 House races including in Montana's newly created district, more than half of California's 50+ delegation, and 25 other toss-up seats.
8 Governor races including in Arizona, Kansas and Oregon.

It could be a while ...

Georgia Senate
California's House races

Steve Kornacki and his signature khakis are back, to the delight of tense viewers

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:05 AM EST

MSNBC political correspondent Steve Kornacki, who won hearts across America with his nonstop "big board" coverage during the sleepless 2020 election week (and prompted a run on khaki pants in its wake), is back for the midterms.

And people on Twitter have strong emotions about it.

Many people were anticipating his return with a mixture of excitement and stress.

"My crush on Steve Kornacki is the most confusing in all my years because he only comes to me in times of extreme anxiety and crisis," wrote The Ringer cultural critic Joanna Robinson, in a tweet that racked up thousands of likes in several hours.

"Hard to believe it’s almost time to unpack steve kornacki again," tweeted Crooked Media writer Sarah Lazarus. "Feels like just yesterday we were dragging him up to the attic."

Kornacki confirmed earlier on Tuesday that he'd be back on screen, writing, "Well I just lost Powerball, so I guess I'll be working tonight."

The reviews so far have been positive, with many Twitter users admiring the way Kornacki looks at his maps (adoringly) and shuffling wildly through piles of paper to find a single note (relatably).

Writer Roxane Gay declared she was "ready for Steve Kornacki and his sensible button down and khakis." Another account shared a fancam video of Kornacki pointing to onscreen maps and gesturing while holding sheathes of paper, with a caption wishing a "happy election day to all my Steve Kornacki girlies."

One called him "a national treasure," another announced that she just "can't quit" him.

A reminder: NPR also has its share of enthusiastic election analysts. You can find them by reading this blog and listening to special coverage.

Democrats remain in jeopardy of losing a majority in Congress

Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:05 AM EST
U.S. Capitol Building at sunrise
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Democrats remain in the fight to hold onto a majority in Congress.

As ballot counting continues across the country, Democrats remain in the fight to hold onto a majority in Congress.

But as Day 2 begins, maintaining Democratic control of the House of Representatives remains unlikely. Republicans need a net gain of just five seats in total.

Follow NPR's live results of House races here.

The Senate is a closer contest and Democrats are still within arm's reach of keeping control, especially following Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's win against Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.

Matchups remain tight in the crucial races of Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

Farther south, in Georgia, Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock is currently neck-and-neck with Republican candidate Herschel Walker. Despite Warnock holding a minimal lead, if neither candidate can obtain more than 50 percent of the vote, the race will automatically go to a runoff, which will happen on Dec. 6.

More significant sums of votes remain to be counted out West in Nevada and Arizona, where two incumbent Democrats — Mark Kelly in Arizona and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada — are facing competitive Republican challengers.

Follow NPR's live results of Senate races here.