Tomorrow is Election Day! While Congressional races have dominated the headlines, we’re most excited for the much-needed progress we can make on the state level. Here’s our guide for what to watch across our 2018 focus states tomorrow night:
For “The Year of the Woman”
Colorado may become one of the first states in the country to have a female-majority state legislature. (This is quite fitting considering that Colorado elected the nation’s first female state legislators—back in 1894.) And in Pennsylvania, a record 118 women are running for state office, which is particularly significant since the state ranks 49th for female representation in government.
For Fair Voting and Fair Elections
Keep an eye on the outcome of ballot measures on voting rights restoration in Florida, a strict voter ID law in North Carolina, and fair redistricting in Michigan. Up in New Hampshire, Democratic majorities are crucial for repealing a GOP poll tax on college students. And in Texas—which aggressively violates the Voting Rights Act and has one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country—progressive gains will be instrumental in stopping anti-democratic policies.
For the Future of Public Education
Blue flips in the Arizona and Colorado state legislatures can benefit the pro-education #RedforEd movement, which organized teacher walkouts in both states over demands for better salaries and public education funding. And in Wisconsin, where teachers protested against anti-union law Act 10 in 2011, the GOP may finally lose its trifecta. State schools Superintendent and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tony Evers is leading Republican incumbent Scott Walker in the polls—and the state Senate is only two seats away from flipping blue.
For an End to Environmental Inaction
In Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott’s cuts to water management led to a toxic algae bloom that’s polluting coastlines and threatening the state’s marine and tourism industries. In Michigan, GOP lawmakers haven’t prioritized water quality and roughly 15% of residents lack access to safe drinking water—either due to the Flint water crisis or toxic PFAS contamination. And in North Carolina, a GOP ban on using rising sea level predictions in coastal policies exacerbated the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence in September.
For Movement on Gun Reform
Democratic gains in the Minnesota and Pennsylvania state legislatures could upend the GOP-gridlock that has prevented meaningful gun reform. During the latest Minnesota legislative session, GOP lawmakers blocked bills to expand background checks, raise the age for gun purchases, and phase out assault weapons, among other measures. Meanwhile, it’s taken Pennsylvania over a decade to pass a single tough gun law—and it only did so last month.
Follow us on Twitter for all things states on Election Night! We’ll have updates on candidate victories, chamber flips, ballot measure outcomes, and other must-know information in our focus states—as well as other states—throughout the evening.